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Google Authorship: How to Get Your Picture Next to Search Results

Tagged in:  SEO, Social
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What is Google Authorship?

Simply put, Google Authorship lets you associate a Google+ account with content you have published on your website, and potentially other websites as well.

Once you associate a Google+ account with your content, this association extends to search results where your photo avatar shows up next to results that include your content.

While there isn’t a comprehensive study of how much additional traffic an article can receive from an author's photo appearing in search results, anecdotal evidence suggests increased click-through rates are a common by-product.

Further, while at the moment there is no real evidence of authorship directly affecting rankings, it is after all Google’s product so one should assume it will one day.

How do I set up Authorship?

The first thing you need is create a Google account. If multiple people in your organisation contribute to your site, each person should have their own account as it is always nice to be more personable with the actual names of the people writing, rather than a generic account such as “Admin”.

Head over to accounts.google.com and click Sign Up to create a new account, or simply login if you (and your fellow contributors) already have a Google+ account and want that particular account associated with the content you are publishing.

Once you have signed up/in, go to https://plus.google.com/authorship and verify that you have an email address using the same domain as your content (such as [email protected]).

You will then be sent a confirmation email to verify your identity.

If you don’t have a work email address using the same domain, you can always use a custom link connecting your post to your profile, although this will need to be added to each post you make moving forward.

Next, view your Google+ profile and click the about tab. Then scroll to the bottom you will see this box:

Click edit and add the url of the site you wish to be an attributed contributor for.

Lastly, a byline containing the authors name needs to appear on each page of your content (for example, "By Andrew Greenwood") which is hyperlinked to the authors Google+ profile. 

For example: <link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/104513033708325352248″>By Andrew Greenwood.</link>

To check it is working make a test post and put the url in the form on this page: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

Once google has spidered the page, the result should look something along the lines of this:


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