By: Joseph Martinez
Originally Posted: 2/7/2014
UPDATE 9/1/2014: Google Authorship is dead! No more! Donezo! But if you still want to know how you can set it up feel free to read on.
Getting your image to show up next to your search results can have a very positive impact on the first impression when people see their desired search results. If you stand alone as the only author to have this feature, your odds of getting that user to click to your site increases greatly. So how do you get your image to appear for your site’s results? Let’s go through the steps…
1. Create a personal Google Plus page and verify the email address.
The keyword there is personal. You won’t be able to do this with a business page so make sure you are using your main, personal page.
If you haven’t verified your email address, it’s real easy to do. There should be a Verify link next to your email address in the Contact Information section of your site. They’ll send you the confirmation email and that’s pretty much it.
2. Make sure the site you are writing for has the rel=”publisher” tag in the HTML
Just like you’ve verified your personal page, the site you are writing for has to do the same thing. Your publisher needs to have an official Google Plus business page with the URL verified by Google. An example of the publisher tag I have for this site is…
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/109791455266163058234” rel=”publisher”>
This could be the hardest step if your publisher doesn’t have a Google Plus business page set up yet. Work with them if they don’t because it might not be worth moving forward with authorship if they can’t get this set up for you.
3. Use a clean, easy to see profile image.
Have sunglasses on in your profile pic? Are you wearing a hat in your picture? Is the picture a little blurry? If you answered yes to any of those then it’s time to get a new profile picture. You don’t need to get a professional headshot, just make sure your face is completely visible and centered.
4. Add the correct link to the “Contributor to” section on your Google Plus profile
See the image below. Your Google Plus profile has a links section where you need to add the website that you’re writing content for. I added my site to my own page since this is the only site I write for.
5. Link your site to your Google Plus profile with the rel-“author” tag
Here’s an example of the tag you need to add.
<a rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/+JosephMartinezMilwaukeePPC?rel=author”>
Just remember to switch out my profile ID with your own. The ?rel=author parameter is absolutely necessary. If you don’t have that in your HTML then the connection will not work.
6. Use the correct byline name for all of your articles, blogs, etc.
If you go back up to the very beginning of this blog, what did you read first? It was “By: Joseph Martinez,” and that byline needs to be on every page you’d like an authorship picture to appear. Your byline name MUST match the name on your Google Plus profile.
7. Test it out!
I had a little trouble getting everything to work when I first tried to set up the authorship, but luckily Google was there to help. Use their Structured Data Testing Tool to get verification that you’ve completed the set up.
Update: Aug. 8, 2014
Google now only shows an author’s name in search results now, not an image. However in Google’s News results, a smaller image still can show up.