Google Authorship Update: How to Show Author Information in Search Results!

Recently Google announced it was piloting the display of author information in search results. This new development from Google, simply known as Google Authorship, was actually overshadowed by the buzz generated with the launching of Google+. As a result, many bloggers and webmaster were in the dark about Google Authorship. In this blog post I want to detail what Google Authorship is all about and how you can implement it in your blog.

Since hearing about Google Authorship and realizing the impact it might have on the search results in the days to come, I went in search of a way to set up the Web Income Journal so that all the authors who have an account here can have their information show up in the search results against their content. At first, there were some challenges but after trying various angles and after working for about 2 weeks on it, I was able to set it up. Here’s a graphic of my previous post when I tested it using the Google rich snippets testing tool :

Why Google Authorship?

But why is Google concerned about showing author information in search results? From all indications, the basic reasons for Google Authorship are:

1. It is to help users locate great content. 

2. To give credit to creators of good content. For example, once you verify a piece of content as yours Google keep this record and even if someone else copies the content (the way content farms do) your author information will be associated with it even if that content gets listed on the search engines for the copying site. It does appear that this is a followup to the Google Panda update.

3. Google Authorship is also about branding. This is what most big name brands are really concerned with. Associating your content with your author information in the search results helps build your brand. It enhances the status of the authors.

It does appear that Google is still working on this feature as it announced that this is being rolled out gradually. The fact that it also said that it will be implemented algorithmically shows that this may take on some very important position as regards content publishing in the future. So if you have not implemented google authorship on your blog it’s time to do so!

Note: Google says there is no guarantee that your author information will be shown in Google Web Search or Google News results even when you have updated your authorship as the feature is being rolled out gradually!

What Is Required To Show Author Information In Search?

There are basically three things you need to show your author information in the search results.

1. You need a Google Profile

2. You need a recognizable headshot as your profile photo, and

3. You need to verify your content by associating it with your Google profile.

Of these three, verifying your content is where you need to do some coding or linking before Google Authorship can work effectively.

A few days ago, Google announced a new way of verify your content through email. However, from my research, this is effective only if you write content in just one place or if you only use one email address all over the web. Besides, you will need to make this email address public on your Google+ profile. Needless to say that this must be a Gmail address!

The process I highlight here however demands you meddling with your blog codes but this is the more popular method right now.

How to Verify Your Content to Show Author Information in Search

There are basically two ways given by Google to verify your content. Depending on the type of site you’re running, you can choose any of the 2 methods. For example if you’re running a single author site/blog, the first method is advocated while if you have a multiple author site/blog the second method is advocated.

Note: Verifying your content simply means associating your content with your author information so that Google will be able to show that you’re the author of that content.

Here are the two methods:

Method #1:

This is a 2-step method. This method is simply the best for single author sites. Here is what is involved.

Step 1: Link your content page to your Google plus profile using the rel=author feature.  Please note that Google requires you to add the + sign for the link to work. For example, here’s an example of my link to my Google profile:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/109455480733639021020/about” rel=”author”>Chadrack Google+ profile</a>

This is the link: Chadrack Google+ profile

Step 2: Link your Google profile to the site containing your content. You don’t need to link to the content page. A link to the home page will do the trick. To do this simply login to your Google plus account and click on “Edit profile”. Locate the “Contributor to” section on your profile and then click on “Add custom link”. Enter the home page url of the site you’re linking to and click “Save”. Remember to click on “Done editing”.

Method #2:

This is a 3-step linking method. This method is recommended for sites that have multiple authors. The purpose is to ensure that each of the authors is able to claim their respective content. For example, on this blog where I accept guest posts, this method will ensure that every author who has posted an article here is able to claim their content instead of every one of them showing up as my content in the search results. Here is what is involved.

Step 1: Link the content page with your author page on the same site using the rel=author feature. For example, WordPress blogs have a page for each of the authors and each post has its own page. My author page on this blog is:

http://webincomejournal.com/author/Chadrack

To use this method therefore I would link every of my articles on this site to that page. For example,

Chadrack has written <a rel=”author” href=”http://webincomejournal.com/author/Chadrack” >20 articles </a> for the WebIncomeJournal!

This will of course return the link: Chadrack has written 20 articles for the WebIncomeJournal!

Step 2: Link the author page to your Google profile using the rel=me feature. For example:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/109455480733639021020/about” rel=”me”>Chadrack is also on Google+</a>

This will return the link: Chadrack is also on Google+

This link from the author page tells Google that this author is the owner of the content linked from the content page in step 1 above.

Step 3: Link back from your Google plus profile to your author page on the site. To do this simply login to your Google plus account and click on “Edit profile.” Locate the “Contributor to” section on your profile and then click on “Add custom link”. Enter your author page link and click “Save”. Remember to click on “Done editing”.

Note that unlike the link in method #1 above, the link is not to the home page but the author’s page on the site. This way Google will be able to associate each content with the rightful author though all the content appears in the same site.

As I’ve mentioned, the type of site you’re running will determine the method of linking you would go for. From my personal experiment so far a single author site/blog is much easier to verify. For example, if you are running a self authored blog (for example, no guest articles) the quickest way to verify your content is to add the Google profile button to your blog. This will link your blog to your Google profile using the rel=author feature without you doing any coding. Once you have added the Google profile button, login to your Google plus account and add the custom link as detailed above.

Challenges Implementing Authorship on the WebIncomeJournal.com

When I learned of Google Authorship and decided to implement it on this blog I never knew it was going to take me over a week to set up. Because the Web Income Journal is a multiple author blog (there are guest posts written by other bloggers and I wanted to give everyone the credit for their content) I ran into some problems. It was a real challenge for me.  The good news is that after working for days, I have been able to set the system up and so every author on this blog can now verify their content with ease.

How did I do it? I’m sure you’ll want to know, right?

No problem I’m ready to give you a step by step account of how I overcame the challenges and set up this blog for every author to claim their content. I will also show you the resources I used. And so I ask that you keep a date with me.

Don’t want to miss the next post right? No problem. Simply sign up for my free updates. Click here to add our feed to your RSS reader.  You can also use the email signup box below to receive our free updates by email plus some exclusive content!

Over to you: Have you implemented Google Authorship on your site/blog? Did you find it challenging or was it a smooth ride for you? What do you think of this Google Authorship? Post your comments and share your thoughts with us below.

Hey, almost forget this. I’ll appreciate if you will +1 this post and at least tweet it as an encouragement from you!

About Chadrack

Chadrack Irobogo is a web entrepreneur, blogger, business coach and author. He's a vastly experienced online marketer and runs a digital marketing agency where he helps local businesses drive valuable online leads. On this blog he shares business strategies and proven marketing tactics that delivers tangible results for SMBs and enterprise bloggers.

View all posts by Chadrack →

42 Comments on “Google Authorship Update: How to Show Author Information in Search Results!”

    1. @calgary lawn care,

      Don’t quite get your point though. Are you commenting about this post or you got it on the wrong side? 🙂 Google Authorship is not about what you are writing about but claiming your content so that your author information can show up in the search results with your content. In what way does this your comment come in here? Will want to hear from you.

    1. @Abir,

      Not many people are really aware of this new move by Google. As a content publisher it is really something you should go for. Thanks for the comment.

  1. Hi Chadrack,

    It’s a very interesting post for all Bloggers. I came from Germany and i never knew about google authorship. But it helps a user to find good content and the author save your sites.

    I write my post’s self with quality and hate bots, they steal my content.
    So, this are good news for all people they want good sites.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.

    1. @Sandy,

      We all must appreciate for the good. Updates like this we only help to the make the internet a better place. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I’m looking to start my own blog shortly in my niche so that I can engage more and more people. It means I soon going to use these tips to for creating my authorship.

  3. Thanks for the informative tips! I was struggling to post my blogs because I was hesitant because I’m not sure if it will attract traffic. And one thing is I really don’t know where is the best medium i may post it.

  4. Hey Chadrack,

    I also didn’t know about this and boy does it sound confusing to set up. I have all my information set up on my Google Plus account as well as my site information. Maybe if I can spare some time in the near future I’ll try to get this all taken care of.

    That sounds like it was a whole heck of a lot of work for you. Some of the things we start off doing end up being a nightmare don’t they? But we are all so very thankful you have done all the work for us and now we just need to follow your instructions for setting this all up ourselves.

    I appreciate you doing that.

    ~Adrienne

    1. @Adrienne,

      Must say it was really a big one for me but all in all, it was some lessons learned!

      Just want to say that you may not find it difficult to implement since your blog is a single author blog. Simply add the +1 button to your blog and then follow step #2 in method #2 above to link to your blog. This will work for you.

      Thanks for the comment and the tweet!

  5. I’m using thesis awesome skin which integrated the rel=”author” already. but what i noticed that i’m not getting my picture out in the search engine, the reason for this was that i haven’t yet added the contributer info to my google+ account.

    Thanks a lot for the very very very very very helpful post.

    1. @Faissal Alhaithami,

      You’re lucky that you’re using a theme with the rel=author feature built in. You simply need to link back from your google+ profile and your information will show up in the search results. Lucky you!

  6. @Chadrack, Thanks so much Chadrack. I did it and that was really easy. You had just given so many examples I wasn’t quite sure which one applied to me. Thank you for helping me with that. You’re the best!

    1. @Adrienne,

      It’s always my pleasure. Maybe I was carried away by my own experience and never knew what to really focus on. Glad that you were able to get it at the end! 🙂

  7. I haven’t heard about this but sounds good and as you described here it is really good to have Google Authorship and that is clear with this post.

    1. @bjohn,

      Frankly, it’s just being implemented by Google and I think this is the time to get onto it. Why don’t you try it out and let me know how it comes out?

  8. I recently implemented method number 1. How long does it take to appear? Mine still not showing. Only the part that says you +1 this is visible.

    1. @Stephen,

      Did you test your articles with the Google rich snippets testing tool to see if you did set it right? If it show up with the test then you don’t need to worry. Google made it clear that they are rolling it out algorithmically. I think it will take some time before every content will be updated for every author.

    1. @Bhupendra Sharma,

      From the recent happenings, Google is giving much weight to the +1 button. I think you may check it out for yourself. Encourage your visitors/readers to +1 your content and then watch the result of the page. This is what Google is using at the moment to gauge how readers are interacting with your content. The more the content is +1-ed the more value it carries since people will one want to +1 a content if they found it to be of value to them.

  9. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing

  10. Thanks for taking time for sharing this article, it was excellent and very informative. as a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed. I found a lot of informative stuff in your article. Keep it up. Thank you.

  11. Please one more post about that.I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect

  12. Wow this is a great post. I just lived reading it. It contains so much information. I really enjoyed reading your article and i absolutely loved it….Thank you for posting it and keep up the good work. May God bless you.

  13. I must say that this blog is an amazing blog an impressive one,,Thanks for the tutorial, very interesting and Nice information.

    Thanks 4 sharing!

  14. This sounds good! I have found this interesting and that’s a different way to express your blog with the authorized person. Now, the question is why you should need authorship and here there are enough reason for knowing it.

    1. @James,

      I’m glad that your resonate with this post. For sure not many people really know what those little pictures that shows up with their results. I hope this knowledge will be able to help you implement google authorship on your site. If there is anything you’ll want to clarify on this,, you can always get back to me.

  15. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly delighted I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

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