NOTE: 20th February 2019 – as of March 7th 2019 Google+ will be sunset and no longer suported.
Google Authorship refers to the two way connection between:
- Websites linking blog articles to the relevant author’s Google+ Profile
- Authors linking their Google+ Profiles to the articles they write.
This is possible both when the author writes for their own blog and when they guest post on other websites and blogs.
The end product is seen in search results where Google can display the author’s profile picture and a link to the author’s Google+ page. This can improve the click through rates for your articles … think about a search results page, the pictures + text usually win out against plain text by drawing the web searcher’s eye to the profile picture and allowing them to quickly spot articles by known authors or industry leaders.
This video aims to provide an overview of how to get Google Authorship working for both your own website and for when you guest blog on other websites.
The first step is to get your Google+ account ready:
- You want to use the same name on your G+ account that will be shown in the author name on websites
- Get a profile pic on there with a clear, recognisable headshot of you the person, (not your company logo)
- Check how your profile looks to others, add in relevant information and make sure the privacy settings are showing / hiding everything you want.
If your email matches the website domain
If you have an email address that matches the website domain you content is on, you can follow the steps described on this page:
It really is as simple as adding your email and clicking “Sign up for Authorship” but I would highlight that at this point you may want to return to the privacy settings and make your email private.
When you are writing for other websites or your email does not match the website domain
For guest blogging or when your email address does not match the website domain you are writing for, you can still get Google Authorship working by linking your content to your G+ profile using this line:
Replace your profile URL with your Google+ profile, you will find your profile URL by visiting your G+ page, mine looks like this as I set it up before vanity URLs came out:
I could also use my vanity URL and it would still work:
Different content management systems allow you to do this in different ways, the key point is that each blog article is marked as belonging to an individual author.
In WordPress we used to add this link in the author bio’s for their user account as this bio is shown on every blog post and in each author’s archive page. Nowadays WordPress provides a G+ profile field in each user’s account where you just enter your profile URL.
The link tags my blog articles with the rel=author tag which connects it up with my G+ profile and brings this information into search results.
If we didn’t use a CMS which provided a G+ field , or an author bio field, we could just add a line of content to each post and add the relevant Google+ link there.
My final step is in this process is to jump back to my Google+ profile, go to the About page and edit the links section. In here I am going to add the URL of my author archives or the website address where my content can be found.
How do you know it is working?
If it is set up correctly and Google believes that showing your G+ profile pic will be useful to web visitors, you will start to see your G+ pic in search results against your articles.
Remember though, if you have locked down your G+ account so it is not discoverable in search results – you won’t get your profile picture showing.
Google started to send out “Welcome to Google Authorship” emails towards the end of 2012, so you should also receive an email and while you are waiting for this you can use the structured testing tool to see if Google can see your rel=-author.
- When your email matches the domain: https://plus.google.com/authorship
- When your email does not match the domain: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986
- Vanity URLs work too: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnMueller/posts/dCWMwa2AEEj
- Structured Data Testing tool: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets