Last year Google introduced something called Google Author rank in their search results. It shows the thumbnail of an author’s photo next to a search result. It’s normally for a blog post written by an author that Google can cross-verify from their Google+ profile (assuming the author has setup a Google+ profile).
You’ve already probably seen these kinds of results before when searching. Here’s an example of one. When I search for “Casadei Spring 2012 Platform Wedge” I get this:
This is not only an obvious way to stand out in search results but a way to start solidifying your authority as people in your niche start seeing you pop up more and more in their searches. Over time – not only does it make your search results stand out – but it builds trust in you (and your brand).
Setting it up for your Blog
There used to be a more complicated way to set this up, but Google has made it easy. There are 2 ways to do it.
Option 1: Easy(ish) Way
What you need:
- Email address on your domain
- Google + profile
If you have an email address setup for your domain (so for instance if you owned this blog and had the email email@example.com setup and working), do this:
- Make sure that on your blog posts, your name is shown somewhere as the author. Something like “Author: Max Spiker” or “By Max Spiker” (as you can see in the top left of this post under the featured image).
- Go to the Google Authorship page and submit your email address to Google to associate your blog posts with your Google+ profile. You only need to do this once and your future blog posts will show your face next to them. Your email address will be placed in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile – make sure to set the privacy settings to your liking (in my case only to people in my circles).
- Use this tool to verify and make sure that the Google spider is seeing your name as the author. I had to adjust my WordPress theme a bit to make this work.
By the way, if you don’t have an email address on your domain, you can get one here. The setup process is a bit more involved than that to get the email working but if you want, I can post a tutorial on how to do that too if I get enough requests. Comment at the bottom of this post if you want me to do that.
Option 2: Theme Surgery
If you don’t have an email address associated with your domain – or – if you want to do both options just to doubly make sure that Google gets you authorship right (which I did) do this:
- Create a link from your blog to your Google+ profile (Your Blog > Google+) in this form:
<a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202? rel=author">Google</a>
Replacing “109412257237874861202” with your own Google+ profile number and removing the line break after the “?” so it’s all on one line. Your link has to have the
parameter at the end of the link. If it’s missing this won’t work. You can place this link on your About page (if you’re only a single author) or your author-specific page (if it’s a multi-author blog). I placed the link on my about page and also linked from every blog post (using the single.php template) to my profile using the “+” as the anchor text next to “Max Spiker” for redundancy – just to make sure.
- Add a link from your Google+ profile to your blog (Google+ > Your Blog)
- Edit the Contributor To section.
- In the dialog box click Add custom link, and then enter your blog URL (also, click the drop-down list to set privacy options).
- Click Save.
- Test to see if Google’s spiders can see the link by using this Snippet Testing Tool.
How Long Will it Take to Show Up?
Google doesn’t say and it probably depends on how often Google crawls your site.
When I did this for Shoerazzi, it only took a few days for her face/profile to start showing up in search results. Then again, Google crawls her site every day since she blogs so much and has so much authority.
If you want to share your experience for how long it takes to start showing up, please leave a comment below.