If you have been doing your searches on Google for the past months (which I suppose you do), you’ve probably noticed that there are tiny faces showing up next to the search results like below.

google search results page

Looks great doesn’t it? This means that these people are the authors of these great articles and they have set up Google Authorship, tying their Google+ account to their blog. It’s like saying, “Hey, I wrote these goodies”. But you might be asking what is it and how do they do it.

What is Google Authorship and its Benefits

Google Authorship is a way to link an article or content that an author created to his/her own Google+ profile. While Google has launched Google Authorship years ago, many authors are still not aware of it or how to do it, so they are missing these great benefits:

  • Improved Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings
  • Improved click-through rates
  • Helps establish credibility and legitimacy of content for websites and authors
  • Author recognition and exposure to more of author’s content

Preparing for Google Authorship

The first step that you as an author need to do, is to make sure you have your Google+ profile ready. A Google+ profile URL looks like this: http://plus.google.com/106632816143586017398.

If you don’t have one yet, you can easily create one. Just go to http://plus.google.com. Fill out all the fields, and add a professional looking profile photo. This photo is what is viewed on Google search results page next to your content.

“Contributor To” Section

While you’re filling in everything on your profile page, give a bit more of your attention to the “Contributor To” field under the Links section on the About page. Click on Add custom link and add all the links of websites and blogs that you publish on, then click Save.

google page contributor to

Link Content to Google+ Profile

On your website that you publish content on, make sure that there is a byline containing your name that appears on each of your content (for example, “By Ana Urban”). Also make sure that this byline matches the name on your Google+ profile.

Let’s say you write content for your website with the domain www.mywebsite.com.au and your email address is on the same domain such as ana@mywebsite.com.au . Go to http://plus.google.com/authorship , add your email address and click on Sign up for Authorship.

google authorship form

On the other hand, if you don’t have an email address on the same domain of your content, all you have to do is place a link from the website to your Google+ profile, like this:

<a href="[your profile URL here]” rel=”author" data-mce-href="[your profile URL here]” rel=”author">Google+</a>

With the above code, replace [your profile URL here] with your Google+ profile URL , like this:

<a href="http://plus.google.com/106632816143586017398” rel=”author" data-mce-href="http://plus.google.com/106632816143586017398” rel=”author">Google+</a>

Make sure to have the parameter rel=”author” within the mark up so Google will be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile page. This is pretty quick and easy but if you are not familiar with html tags, you may want to contact your website developer.

And you’re done!

Confirm Google Authorship Set up

Once the setup is all done, you would like to check if you did everything correctly. You can do so by checking the website with Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool for free. Add in your website and click on Preview.

google rich snippet testing tool

The tool will verify if Authorship has been setup successfully on the webpage.