Jordan Burleson

Getting Google Authorship: A How-To & Advantages Of Being An Author

Est. Reading Time: 5 minutes

Google AuthorshipEveryone wants to leave their mark on the web, get noticed and stand out from the crowd. Most people are on social media, have a personal blog or work with an organization where they publish content they want others to read. Google offers a way for online writers and publishers to get noticed and literally show their face in Google’s crowded room. It comes in the form of Google Authorship.

Google is taking great strides in helping to eliminate spam and duplicate content, they are rewarding online authors who verify their profiles, even if it is a way to boost their own social network, Google Plus. The benefits of verifying through your  Google Plus profile is added photo next to your search result and extra links (such as how many people are in your social circle, other articles written by you and a link to your profile). It is obvious for those that have seen a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) with this rich snippet, that these links receive higher click through rates and visibility. The use of rel=”author” and rel=”me” tags will become ever more influential with the addition of AuthorRank.

Author ranking isn’t officially discussed by Google, but author tags and author verification can influence rankings. Some factors that can influence your content’s ranking are: the page rank of the site’s you publish content on, how often an author posts, the engagement the author has on their Google Plus profile page and their activity on trusted social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Google’s Eric Schmidt has confirmed the impact of authorship…

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.” Eric Schmidt- Executive Chairman, Google

Steps in Getting Google Authorship

  1. If you don’t already have a Google Plus account, create one now. Google Author Signup
  2. Visit Enter your email and get it verified. You should see a check mark by your email address in the About section of your Google+ profile.
  3. Upload a nice, clear headshot for your Google Plus profile photo which will show in the search results. (Avoid dark photos or pictures taken at a distance)
  4. Click +1’s, select the Show this tab on your profile checkbox, and then click Save.
  5. Other Profiles Contributor LinksClick About, Other profiles, click Add custom link, and then add labels and URLs for each of your other social media account profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Click Save when done.
  6. In the author section of your blog or website, add a link to the author’s Google+ profile using the anchor text “Google+” (omit the quotes). The following is an example of such tag source code (be sure to use your, Google+ profile ID number):
    • <a href=””>Google+</a>
  7. In your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, and then click Contributor to.Set up the Contributor to dialog box in your Google+ profile
  8. Click Add custom link, and then add a label and the full URL for the publishing site’s home page.
  9. Click Save when done, and then click Done editing.

Some authors do not have access to the anchor tags on a website they publish to. In this case, you can use the email verification method to attain Google Authorship. In order to use this method, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a byline on your blog or website that shows your name exactly as it appears on your Google Plus profile
  • You must also have an email address on the same domain as the site on which you publish. ( would work in this method to publish on

Testing Your Work For Google Authorship

In order to see if your author tags are pulling through correctly and your name and links will appear next to your content, you can use the Structured Data Testing Tool from Google Webmaster Tools. As you can see below, this handy tool allows you to see what information Google is pulling from your URL and whether or not it is verified or not. If it isn’t verified correctly, this tool gives you ways to properly tag content to receive authorship. This tool is also great because you can see examples of other rich snippets and how to pull reviews, hours, products and multiple authors through your content on a search engine results page.

Matt Cutts Structured Data Testing Tool

In Conclusion

Google Authorship can be extremely advantageous for authors, content creators and businesses who publish content they want seen and clicked through. Using these rel=”author” tags can help with search engine optimization and increase search relevancy. One thing to point out, is that even if you verify your links and your image shows up in the testing tool, it still may take some time to show up in search. On two of my blogs the authorship showed up in a week. Others can take even longer. Google instructions for setting up authorship on every CMS is not conclusive and their are great plugins through WordPress that can make it super simple. Google has announced that authors in search results will become more and more prevalent as their algorithms keep changing to include social search. Make sure that you are ready now.

One Trackback

  • By How To Leverage Google+ For Your Business on March 31, 2014 at 10:57 am

    […] on setting up Authorship and installing publisher tags, please reference an earlier blog I wrote on Authorship. Another added benefit of tying your site and brand page together is that Google will serve your […]