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Google+ Authorship: Get Your Picture in Search Results

Google+ Authorship: Get Your Picture in Search Results

Update September 3, 2014 - Google Authorship Program has ended (for now)

It's hard to miss the increase appearance of Google+ Authorship links nowadays in search results. These are the links that have small images (usually of faces) that break up the motonoy of the page making them more eye-catching to the viewer. This post will explain the steps on how to set up your own authorship so you can get your picture in the search results!

What is Google+ Authorship? (aka Rich Snippets)

Authorship is Google’s way of humanizing content that’s being released onto the wild web by connecting your written content (e.g. blog posts) to your G+ profile. As mentioned before in previous posts, Google wants you to write for humans, not for robots, as humans are the ones typing in their search queries and Google does their best in showing only the most relevant content to the searcher. After all, if Google is able to find what you’re looking for consistently, then you’ll continue using their service.

With Authorship, Google links your G+ profile picture to your search result snippet, in addition to other G+ details like how many circles you’re in, and links to your other content. 

For example, mine looks like this:

GooglePlus Rich Snippet Example

“Can I use my Company Page instead of my personal page for G+ Authorship?” – Unfortunately no, and it also reiterates that Google wants human faces in the search results, not brand logos. Searchers are more likely to click on the result that has a human smiling back instead of a logo. It encourages readers to click and thereby can be in your favor if there are similar search results around you but the competition doesn’t have Authorship / human verification.

“I don’t even have a G+ personal page, do I have to get one?” – If you want to establish Authorship, you will need a G+ profile page. It’s simple to do, and I’ll show you how.

1. Log into your Google account (same as your Gmail). If you don’t have one, create one here.

2. You will either see +YourName or a +You in the upper left corner after login. Click it.

3. Follow the steps to create your public profile. You can choose to skip Adding People in the beginning.

GooglePlus - Creating a Profile

4. Upload/Choose a Photo and fill in details of Work, School, Home City. You’ll want to choose a clear photo of yourself as this will be the thumbnail that shows up to associate your content with YOU. If you try to upload a logo, Google will recognize that it doesn’t have human features.

GooglePlus - Profile Creation

5. After you click Finish, it will take you to your Home Feed that will eventually populate with news as you “Follow” or “Add” people to Circles (your friend lists).

6. Click on your portrait in the upper right, and “View Profile” to be taken to your page.

7. Click “About” to start filling in the details, but the most important element to Authorship is under Links > Contributor to section. Here’s what mine looks like:

GooglePlus - About Links Example

8. To add in your blog, click Edit and Add Custom Link under “Contributor to.” This allows you to enter every single blog you write for (if applicable)

9. That’s it for the G+ side, now you have to add in a snippet of code on the blog side to connect your profile together with your content.

Replace the highlighted portions with your own profile number and name. Then place this code wherever your sign off in your blog post. (You can see my example at the end of this post)

<a href="" rel="author">+Alice Ly</a>

You’ll find your personal profile number in your own Google+URL. And the + in front of the name is optional.

10. Do this for every single one of your blog posts you want shown up as a rich snippet (with your picture) in search results.

If you’re a Lucrazon customer, all you need to do is click on “Source” when you’re editing/creating a blog post, and insert the code in at the desired location, typically at the bottom of the post as a closing signature.

11. To test if your code is correct, just put your specific blog post URL in this tool to test. (The post URL that you just inserted the code to) and you should see if it’s successful or not.

And that’s it! Here’s also another great tutorial from Search Engine Land that includes WordPress addition if you’re not using the Lucrazon integrated blog system.

Questions? Feel free to ask below!

+Alice Ly
Social Media Manager

2 Comments To "Google+ Authorship: Get Your Picture in Search Results"
Alice Ly - Lucrazon - 09/23/2013

Thanks for the comment and feedback, Joe! Yes, Google will always change up their algorithms and methods so we just have to stay alert!
Pillar Joe - 09/23/2013

"That’s what I really need to know. Very informative article, just need to focus on more point. it’s important to really pay attention and take them to heart. Some of the above suggestions are still easy to work around at this point, but Google will surely start changing this in the future. If they don’t want authorship to be connected with product listings, it’s only a matter of time before some sort of penalty is put into place. We’re not there yet, but it’s best to prepare while there is still plenty of time. Best Regards Pillar Joe

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