Implementing Google Authorship in a Multiple Author Blog: Web Income Journal as a Case Study!

I mentioned in my previous post that I ran into some challenges while setting up the Web Income Journal for Google Authorship. In this article I want to give you the details of the challenges I encountered and how I was able to overcome them. Peradventure you have a multiple author blog like me; this guide will be of great help.

I must say I don’t know if any other person is using this system for I had to contrive it to overcome the challenges I was facing.  Besides, it’s a little complicated. I intend to contact the developer of the plugin I used if he may want to update the plugin to ease the set up. But before then you can use the guide below. If there is an easier way you have uncovered, please go ahead and share it with us.

If at the end of this article you still cannot use this system then I think, the only option open to you is to go get a web developer to do the work for you. But be ready to part with some cash! 🙂

[If your blog is a single author blog, you may want to read my previous post for the simple way you can Advanced Author Bio on your blog. I advise also that you read that post to better understand what we will be detailing in this post. This post is only a continuation of the previous one. ]

So let’s begin.

1st Challenge Implementing Google Authorship!

As mentioned in the previous post, there are basically three things you require to show your author information in Google search result. These are:

(1) A Google+ profile

(2) A profile with complete details with a headshot for your profile photo, and

(3) A cross linking of your content with your author details and your Google profile in order to verify your content.

And so armed with this info, I realized that the easiest way to link every content on the Web Income Journal with their various authors was to use the Author Bio Box displayed on each of the articles.

As you must have noticed, every blog post here shows up with the details of the author clearly shown. Before now that box was displaying at the top of the articles like this:

The details shown on the box were drawn from the author’s profile on the blog. Unfortunately, at the time I was setting up the system the default wordpress user’s profile had no option for including a Google+ link in the author Contact Info section. And so, this was the first challenge I had. You can see a graphic of the default user’s profile page here:

So, first challenge –  how do I include each author’s Google+ profile in the author box?

Note that I could have sent an email to all the authors to update their profile so they can include their Google+ profile link in the box. However, others who tried this method reported a situation where wordpress simply stripped the rel=author feature from the link! And so I decided to forego this option.

A Plugin to Include Google+ Link in WordPress Users’ Profile

After analyzing the situation I immediately realized that I needed a plugin that will allow users to include their social media links in the profile page. A quick search on the wordpress plugin depository returned a possible solution – the “Advanced Author Bio” plugin.

To install this plugin simply go to “Add new plugin” from your dashboard and search for “Advanced Author Bio” and then you can install and activate it as you would any other plugin.

Once activated it will add more options to the “Contact info” section in users’ profile page like this:

As you can see there are now options for Google+, Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. You only need to add any of these options and the details will show up in the author page on each article page like this:

[Note: There are other plugins out there that can do this also but this is the one I used and this guide is based on this particular plugin.]

Challenge #2: Linking Author Content to Their Google+ Profile

After installing the plugin I soon discovered there was another challenge – how to include a code so each author’s Google+ profile can automatically point to their Google+ profile. As this was not built into the plugin I had to tweak the plugin codes a little! 🙂

[Aside: it’s clear that the plugin was developed before this recent Google authorship update. I do hope that the plugin developer will update the plugin to reflect these changes.]

Tweaking the Codes to Overcome Challenge #2

Please pay careful attention here.  We’re about working with some codes!

First let me remind you again of how to associate your content with your author information. Here are the two methods recommended by Google:

Method #1:

1. Link your content page to your Google plus profile using the rel=author feature.

2. Link your Google profile to the site containing your content.

Method #2:

1. Link the content page with your author page on the same site using the rel=author feature.

2. Link the author page to your Google profile using the rel=me feature.

3. Link back from your Google plus profile to your author page on the site.

Please read the previous post for details on this.

NOTE: Though method #2 is recommended for multiple author blogs like the Web Income Journal, I had some problems using it. At the end I had to settle for method #1 and it worked perfectly! So whether you have a single author blog or a multiple author blog the following guide will work for you.

Updating the Plugin with a Link to Google+ Profile

Step 1: The All Important Code

The first thing I did was to locate the code that calls the author’s Google+ link from the user’s profile page and also the author’s display name. Both of these are located in the plugin file “‘advanced-author-bio.php‘. here are the two codes:

CODE for the author name:  –  $aab_author[‘name’]

CODE for the Google+ profile link: –  $aab_author[‘googleplus’]

Then I created a code with a link to Google+ like this:

<a href=”‘. $aab_author[‘googleplus’]. ‘?rel=author”>

Step 2: A Code to Show the Article’s Author

The next thing I did was to create a code to display each article’s author name something like this: “Article by: AUTHORNAME.” Here’s the code I created:

<b>Article by:</b> <a target=”blank” href=”‘. $aab_author[‘googleplus’]. ‘?rel=author”> +’.$aab_author[‘name’].’ </a>

Note that I added the + sign as this is required by Google for Google Authorship to work.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

After this, I incorporated the codes I’ve just put together into the plugin and here is what the author box now looks like:

With this, the Web Income Journal is now set up for each of the authors to simply add their Google+ link. Once they update their profile with the necessary link, their content will automatically link to their Google+ profile. None of the authors will need to write any code with the rel=author feature.

The only step to complete the process is to sign in to their Google+ account and update their profile with a link back to this blog. This is detailed in my previous post but here is graphic of what they need to do:

So there you have it. I hope I was able to make this as simple as possible. If you want to implement it on your blog and you have any problems you can always contact me.

As usual your comments are welcomed. And, I’ll appreciate it if you will help promote this post with a +1 and a tweet. Use the social buttons at the top of the article to share and promote to your heart’s desire! Thank you for the love!



  1. kevin k lau