If you have been searching on Google, you might notice some of the author pictures are shown in the search engine result pages (SERPs), like below:
This is the power of Google authorship! It allows your picture to show up in the SERPs for the content written by you.
During the incipient phase of Google authorship, I have been trying hard to get it hard coded on my sites, which involves some html knowledge and lots of trial and error because I am not tech savvy in html, dealing with rel=author tag or adding a byline for all my blog posts.
You have probably been through that and end up buying a plugin to help you setup the Google authorship, basically just to add in a html code (link back to your Google Profile) on all pages that you would like your picture to show up.
Google Authorship Advantages
One obvious advantage is the distinction look of your web pages with your picture that are shown up in Google SERPs, which differentiate from the rest of the sites that are not optimized with Google Authorship. This is one of the overlooked SEO techniques that contributes to the SEO signal because the outstanding look will greatly increase the click through rate from the SERPs.
Another SEO factor is the author rank, which Google is taking into account when ranking a site. If the articles / blog posts of the author are getting a lot of social sharing signal (i.e. Facebook Like, Tweets, Google plus, etc…) and traffic, the author will gain more trust from Google, which will help in the ranking a web page by the author.
People love to see the associated author when they browse the results on SERPs simply because that adds a trust level to the content they are about to check out.
Adding rel=author With WordPress SEO Plugin
Thanks to the WordPress SEO plugin, it is it only takes 3 steps to setup the Google authorship on your blog. To make this work, you will need to install WordPress SEO plugin and setup Google plus profile with a picture.
Step 1: Inside WordPress Dashboard, under Users > Your Profile, fill in your Google profile link, as shown in the snapshot:
After that, under WordPress SEO plugin, choose Titles and metas, select Home tab > Author Metadata, choose the user that should be used for the rel=author on the blog homepage.
Step 2: Inside your Google plus account > Profile. Edit the about tab, add your site (author page or home page) under the contributor section. If you have done some guest posting on other people’s blog, you should point it back to the author page.
Step 3: Make sure your +1 tab are set to public on your Google Profile. You can easily set to public by choosing Profile > Edit Profile, click on +1′s tab, check “Show this tab on your profile”, Save. Then click “Done Editing”
If you are not using WordPress, you can also add the following code (remember to change it to your Google Profile) on the page your would like your picture to associate with:
<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/109336446844966177968″/>
Feel free to check out the methods by Google.
Testing With Google Rich Snippets Tool
Once you have done that, you can use the Google rich snippets tool to test the Google authorship you just setup. Below is a snapshot of my blog shown using the tool:
When you have seen the green verified button plus a preview of your page, you are done. Just wait patiently for a few weeks before it takes effect and show on the SERPs.