Google Authorship Search Results

Search Results with Google Authorship

You may have noticed in Google search results, lately, that some of the links have little pictures next to them similar to the one shown above.  Along with the pictures the result includes a “[glossary id=’1098′ slug=’rich-snippet’ ]Rich Snippet[/glossary]” listing the author.  The picture and additional information is called Google Authorship. Most people haven’t taken the time to set up Google Authorship, yet, which is good, because it gives you a chance to get ahead of your competition, and take advantage of the benefits Google Authorship provides.

Benefits of Google Authorship

There are several benefits to Google Authorship.  The first is increased clicks. The eye is drawn to differences that stand out on a webpage.  The typical Google search results page is mostly blue, green, and black text on a white background.  If your results have a picture and your competitors don’t people will be drawn to your results. Even if you aren’t the first result in the list your chances are greater that your link will get clicked.

A second benefit is trust.  People tend to trust, and feel more comfortable clicking on a link when they can see your face. So, why not add a little extra trust with your picture?

Third, you get more space for your results. The results with pictures take up more space on the page than the results without a picture.  More space also means that your result has a better chance to be clicked on.

Also, Google Authorship gives you the opportunity for more [glossary id=’1095′ slug=’page-view’]page views[/glossary].  When, someone spends a couple minutes on your page, and then clicks the back button Google will show additional links to your site under the main link.  This is awesome, because now there is a greater chance the user will click on one of these new links!

Set Up Google Authorship with WordPress

At <a href=”http://www.portlighttechnology.com”>Port Light Technology</a> we use [glossary id=’1102′ slug=’wordpress’]WordPress[/glossary] to create websites.  So, I’m going to show you how to configure Google Authorship with WordPress.There are only a few steps to set up Google Authorship for your WordPress site.  If you get stuck along the way, just let me know. I’d be happy to help you get this working.

Step 1: Set Up Google+

You will need a Google+ account to make this work.  Chances are you already have one though. If you ever created an account on Gmail, YouTube, or any other Google service you have a Google+ account.

Add a Profile Pictures

You need to make sure you have a profile picture on your Google+ account.  This is where the picture comes from in the search results.  To add a picture do the following.  If you already have a picture you can skip to the next section.

  1. Just, go to http://plus.google.com to create or login to your existing account.
  2. Click on Home -> Profile.
  3. Point the mouse over the circle that has an outline of a person. Click on the camera that appears.
  4. Upload a picture, and click, “Set as profile photo.

Add a Profile Link to Your Website

  1. Just, go to http://plus.google.com to create or login to your existing account.
  2. Click on Home -> Profile.
  3. Click About in the menu at the top of the page.
  4. Scroll down to the Links section, and click Edit.
  5. Find the “Other Profiles” section, and click “Add Custom Link.”
  6. Enter the name and URL of your website in the appropriate boxes.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Make note of the address you are at currently.  It should be something like https://plus.google.com/u/1/106161563537542207060/about.  This is your Google+ profile address. You will need to enter this address in the next step.

Step 2: Add your Google+ Profile Link to WordPress

  1. Login in to your WordPress Admin.
  2. Click Users -> Your Profile.
  3. Enter your Google+ profile address, that we found in Step 1, into the Google+ box.
  4. Remove the “/about”, or anything else at the end of the address.  The Google+ address should end in a number. For, example my url was https://plus.google.com/u/1/106161563537542207060/about and I changed it to https://plus.google.com/u/1/106161563537542207060
  5. Click Save.

Step 3: Verify Everything is Set Up Properly

  1. Go to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
  2. Enter the address of your website, and click Preview.

You should see your Google+ picture and text stating that the site was created by you.  Congratulations!  That’s it.

A Word of Warning

Since this feature is still pretty new, Google is still changing how it works all the time.   It’s been my experience that it takes days or even weeks for the picture to start showing up with your results, and after it starts working it can be inconsistent.  Sometimes it shows up sometimes it doesn’t.  However, I’m sure Google will continue to make improvements to Google Authorship all the time, and down the road it will work consistently.  Since, it takes so little time to set up it is still worth it.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

About the author

Damon Schopen designs and develops web-based software. He specializes in e-commerce, interactive websites, integrating software to allow sharing of data across systems, and customizing existing software applications to meet your specific needs. For the past 10 years Damon has helped a variety of companies develop the web-based software they need to do business with their customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>