How to Set Up Google+ Authorship

How To Set Up Google+ Authorship

Just a few weeks before the beginning of the Google+ field trial, Google announced authorship markup allowing content writers to let Google the author of an article, blog, website, etc. through then Google Profiles. When Google+ was announced, the full plans became much clearer. Google had bigger plans for Authorship.

What is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship is a way to link all your content to you through your Google+ profile. It allows Google know who the real author is. As you can see in the example above, it also gives your content a bit of a boost visually with the addition of your Google+ profile picture and other author information (number of Google+ circles you're in, your name with a link to your Google+ profile, a link to see more content written by you) accompanying your content in Google Web Search.

Google Plus Authorship
Google Web Search result with Google+ Authorship

In addition to the visual boost your content receives, it also receives a physical boost in ranking for anyone that has you in their Google+ circles. There’s also the belief by many, I included, that Google gives your content a boost in rankings even for those that don’t have you in their Google+ circles based on a quality score they place on your profile because of the engagement of your profile and your other content.

The benefits don't stop in Google search. If your content appears in Google News results, your You'll also have your name with a link to your Google+ profile will accompany it.

Google Plus Authorship in Google News
Google News with Google+ Authorship

Having your Google+ Authorship appearing in Google Search and Google News, gives both you and your content extra credibility. This extra credibility, as well as the fact that the pictures and links draw your attention, results in a higher click through rate on your result and more visitors to your content.

How to set up Google Authorship

In order to set up Google Authorship, you need to make sure you have set up a Google+ profile with a profile photo clearly showing your face. Any logo, cartoon, unclear headshot pictures, etc. will result in authorship not working. +Lee Jarratt used to have an upside down profile picture that was keeping his Google+ Authorship to show up on Google although the link was showing up as verified.

Easiest Way - With an Email on the Same Domain

The easiest and least technical way to set up Google Authorship is to sign up for authorship by filling out a form with with an email on the same domain as your content. Simply make sure that there is a byline on each page with the same name you are using on your Google+ profile (for example, “By Clayton Pritchard”) and submit your email here. Submitting your email will automatically add that email to the work section of your contact info on your website as well as add the domain to the contributor to section on your profile.

Second Way - Without an Email on the Same Domain

There is also another way to do it if you don’t have an email on the same domain as the website. This could be for guest blog posting or if you aren’t paying for web hosting or a domain name.

The easiest way to set this up is to grab the HTML code for a Google+ icon or badge for your website from the +Google Developers Google+ Platform website. When editing the HTML code of your website, simply place the icon/badge code where you want it to render. If you don’t want to use the icon or badge, you can use a hyperlink from the webpage to your Google+ profile by placing the following HTML code on your page somewhere:

<a href="[yourprofileID]" rel="author">[Your text here]</a>

If you use this second method, you need to make sure to include a link to the domain that your content is on by adding it to the “contributor to” section of your profile. This allows Google to trust that both the profile and the website are owned by the same person.

Verifying Google+ Authorship

After going through the prior steps to set up Google+ Authorship, you’ll want to verify that everything was done correctly. In order to do this, visit the markup verify page, input the domain you want to test such as, and click test. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll see the green “Verified” notice. You’ll also see an example of what a search result will look like now with your profile picture. It should look similar to the one below.

How to Verify Your Google+ Authorship
Verified Google+ Authorship

It will usually take a few days to a couple weeks for the changes to begin to show up on a Google search results page, so be patient.

What issues have you run into when setting up Google+ Authorship before?