Easy SEO – Authorship – Simplified

Google has made changes to the way you can establish authorship. I’ve updated to the simplified procedure.

This is huge.

It looks like the days of people hijacking your content are over, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg and this really is as big as an iceberg, with much of it below what you can easily see.

Google is now implementing, “the display of author information in search results to help users discover great content.”

This means that when we publish to the web and the Google spider crawls that content, Google is going to try to identify and verify who the author of that content really is. If they can, then they will display the author’s thumbnail image next to the listing in search results! Here’s what it looks like:

author thumbnail


Pictures Have the Power!

Pictures are incredibly powerful. We are basically visual creatures. Trust me, SERP results that have friendly faces attached to them are going to get clicked on way more often than those that don’t and that act alone (more clicks) will boost your rankings. Plus, Google has said that being able to verify authorship is a ranking factor in itself.

If you don’t jump on this, you’re not a marketer!

OK, so how does it actually work? Here’s the basic run down straight from Google:

To identify the author of a blog or article, Google checks for a connection between a web page (such as an article) and a Google Profile. Here’s how you can help Google associate your profile with the content you’ve created.

The first step is to create a Google profile for your author, if you don’t already have one. I’m assuming that you already have a Gmail account associated with your blog that you use for managing all your niche related email needs, right? If not, then you need to start one and use it to set up a Google profile. Log into your Gmail account and look to the top right where it shows your account name and click on that. In the menu that opens up, you’ll see “Create Profile” and you click on that. Walk through the prompts and then when you get to where you can edit your profile be sure to be as interesting as you can and don’t forget to add that profile picture! The more stuff you say in your profile, the better. Google likes “rich” profiles.

Here’s what they say:

Here are some tips for creating a rich, useful Google Profile:

  • Update your Google Profile with links to any of your other author pages around the web. (To add links to your profile, click Edit profile, then click the Links box on the right of the page and add the links you want.)
  • Your profile picture must be a photograph of yourself and of high quality in order to be eligible for be shown as a thumbnail in search results.
  • To easily link to your Google Profile, add the Profile button to your site.
OK, so after you’ve created your profile, you then add links to the content you authored.
In the newest method, you only need to create a link to your main domain name. In my case, it is:  http://deanrichards.info
  • Your profile picture must be a photograph of yourself and of high quality in order to be eligible for be shown as a thumbnail in search results.

This means they prefer a real picture of a real person. There is a bit of controversy about this and Google has said they will eventually roll out provisions for businesses, but for now they’re sticking firm to the real person idea.

That having been said, after reading “Crush It” I’m a firm believer in building a personal brand and I strongly advise you to do the same whenever possible.

I also would recommend that you think carefully about the picture you use. It really should be as appealing as possible. Here are my tips for The Best Google Profile Pictures for Authors

People like to see real human faces that are happy. Give that to them.

Getting it Together With WordPress

After you’ve finished your profile, it’s time to make the link from your blog back to your Google profile.

To do this, you’re going to need your profile URL. This is the same page where you went so you could go in and edit the your profile. The page identifier is a long number. Mine looks like this: https://profiles.google.com/108022381692020618173

The instructions tell you to then: “Copy and paste the following code into your site where you want the button to appear”

Here are the places Google recommends:

You can add your Google Profile link in several places; choose the option that works best for your site.

  • A common footer, header, or navigation page that appears on every page. This is ideal if you manage a single-author blog.
  • The bottom or top of each individual post or article. This works well for blogs and sites with content from multiple authors.
  • An author profile page on your site. For example, many multiple-author sites have profile pages for each contributor; in this case, every article should link to its author’s profile page using rel="author" (see below). In this case, update each author profile page with a link to that author’s Google Profile.
So the easiest thing is to drag a text widget into a sidebar or footer widget area and then past the button code into the body area of the Text widget and Save.
If you don’t want to use the button, you can add a text link like this:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/108022381692020618173?rel=author”>Google+</a>

Here’s what they say about using a text link:

Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter, and your anchor text must end with a + character. (You don’t need to be a Google+ user to do this, and you can use any anchor text you want.) If either of these is missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google Profile.

After you’ve followed all our instructions above, please complete this form so we can let you know of any implementation issues. While we won’t be able to individually reply to everyone who fills out this form we may be in touch with questions about your data.

Don’t forget to add a link to your site in your Google profile. Do it now if you haven’t already done it. The way to do that is to go into where you edit your profile and click on the “Links” area. Then select for “Add custom link” and in the window that opens up, the first box is for the name of the link and the box below it is for the actual URL.

That should be it!

You can test it all out by using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool

That tool has a cool little troubleshooter to let you know if you goofed up.

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