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How Does Google Authorship Work?

When you’ve been searching online, you’ve probably noticed some search results like the one below:

google-author-ship-todd-meisler-example-imageYou’ve probable been wondering how people get that cool little photo next to certain search results.  The “cool” factor is nice, and heck, if people come across the result, they’ll know who wrote the content.  Even though the coolness of a little photo next to articles you’ve written is nice, the true benefits Google Authorship extend much farther than making a cool photo appear.

Why Use Google Authorship? 

Google authorship offers a number of cool benefits, including the following:

Increases CTR – That photo makes your search result stand out from others.  In most cases, you can expect this to boost your CTR.  The search result also often shows how many Google+ circles the author is a member of, which helps to increase author credibility in a searcher’s eyes.  Google will also provide searchers with a link to search more of the content you’ve written.  Professional headshots that clearly show who you are work the best.

Google recognizes you as the original author – Hey, it’s easy to steal your content.  All someone has to do is copy and paste.  Google is usually fairly adept at determining the original author of the content, but if you claim authorship, there’s no doubt that you will always be seen as the original author of the content.  It’s great protection to have in the virtual world.

Builds Author Rank with Google – Google is quickly transforming the world of search into a more personal one that provides trustworthy, accurate, and popular results.  “AuthorRank” is the score Google uses to establish your trustworthiness as an online author.  As search engine technology moves forward, AuthorRank will play an increasingly large role in the rankings of your content.

How to Claim Google Authorship

Regardless of the type of site you have, or even if your content is posted on another site, basically you have to insert the http://your-google-profile-url code somewhere onto the page that contains your content.  There are a few ways to do this:

If Your Site is Built on WordPress

WordPress makes everything a little simpler, and if you download the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin, you will be able to easily SEO every page/post on your WordPress site, and the plugin will automatically insert the appropriate code into each post or page you create.  After you install the plugin, you will have to get your profile URL.

Then, you simply go to your WordPress user profile and add that URL as your “Google+” URL.

WordPress takes care of the rest – easy.

HTML Websites

It’s a little more difficult to get Google authorship set up on HTML websites, but it’s still not overly difficult.  On any page that you want to establish Google authorship, insert the following code into the <head> section:


The extra step you have to take is you have to log in to your Google+ profile and hit the “Edit Profile” button.  Highlight the “About” tab and scroll down to the “Contributor to” section.  In one of the fields, enter the name and URL of your website, and save the changes.

Guest Posts on Other Sites

Yes, you can claim authorship for content that has been posted on other sites.  Some site owners may set you up as a user, and they may have Google authorship already set up.

But, that’s an ideal scenario, and it rarely happens.  You can claim authorship of your content by creating a link in your bio, which every reasonable site allows you to have.  So, for your byline, say something like this:

“Todd is the owner of ZD Design Agency, and you can connect with him on http://your-google-profile-url Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.”

Just like you do with HTML websites, you have to go to your Google+ profile and add the name and home page URL of the website that you contributed to.  Google will eventually determine the connection is valid and will place your photo in its search results.

Enjoy the Benefits and Keep Creating Killer Content

Google AuthorRank is pretty cool – so take advantage.  And, in the grand scheme of things, it’s fairly easy to implement, so get to it as soon as you can.

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