How to Show Your Author Photo in Google Search Results

Could there be anything more cheering to an online author (especially one with a healthy ego like Yours Truly) than seeing this little gift from Google? Google Authorship rich snippet search resultSuch “author rich snippet search results” are one of the benefits of connecting your online, original content with your Google+ profile, something we now know of as Google Authorship. The Authorship program provides a way for you to verify with Google the content across the web that you created.

Why Implement Google Authorship?

There are several benefits to verifying your author name and profile with Google and connecting your content to it, but among the most obvious:

  • Facial images are very eye-catching. Your profile avatar next to a result from your site makes it stand out from the other search results. This could potentially increase click-through rates (CTR) for you when you show up in search. In addition, these results contribute toward your personal branding. In many cases, Google will also note how many have circled you on Google+ (a trust mark), and provide a link to a dedicated search page with more of your content.
  • Google will promote your content over stolen versions. If you’ve been blogging for any time you’ve probably had the disconcerting experience of finding your original content wholly lifted and posted on another site, often without attribution. It’s most infuriating when the stolen post outranks your own in search results. Google wants to combat that, and their author verification tagging system helps them to give preference to your original posts.
  • And most importantly of all, you will begin to build AuthorRank with Google. Via your Google+ profile, author verification allows Google to identify all your online content. All that content begins to contribute to a score that Google maintains for you that is their assessment of your trustworthiness, relevance, and popularity in your key topics. Once AuthorRank kicks in as a ranking factor, it will serve as an additional signal to Google that your highly-trusted content should rank higher in search.

How to Verify Your Authorship with Google

Verifying your post authorship with Google involves placing special tags that create a three-way link between your posts, your author bio on your site, and your Google profile. The chain looks like this:

  • The rel=”author” tag should be in the link between the byline in your posts and your author “about me” page.
  • The rel=”me” tag should be in a link to your Google+ profile.
  • There should be a link from your Google+ profile back to your site’s “about me” page.

The concept is easy to understand. The trick is how to get those tags in the right places in WordPress.

Note: If you have a single author blog, Google has now provided a simpler method to verify your authorship by verifying your email address with Google. Jump down to the heading “Simpler Methods for Single Author Blogs” below.

The tutorial below is for self-hosted WordPress blogs. If you use Blogger, here is an excellent tutorial on setting up Authorship for Blogger.

Setting Up Author Verification by Coding rel=author into Your Site

Step 1: Create a Google+ Profile

…if you don’t already have one. If not:

  1. Go to http://profiles.google.com and click “Create my profile”
  2. Sign in with your Google account. (If you don’t have one, go to https://accounts.google.com/NewAccount)
  3. Fill out your profile as completely as you like. For our purposes here, you must include a profile photo (use the same one you use on your blog). This should be a clear headshot.
  4. Google recommends making the +1 page of your profile public. That page displays anything that you have publicly “+1ed” on the web. I’m not sure what this has to do with author verification, but they recommend it so I’d do it. While in edit mode on your profile, click the +1 tab and check the box “show this tab on your profile.”

Step 2: Create an Author Bio Page & Link to Your Google+ Profile

Before you do anything else, you need to make sure you have an author “about me” page on the same domain as your posts, with some important elements included. Important: make sure you’ve updated WordPress to the latest version. Older versions may not let you insert the rel tag in your author link. NOTE: If you use Google’s Blogger product, skip this step. Just link your Blogger account to your Google+ profile and you’re set. However, you do still need to do Step 4 below and properly link back from Google+ to your Blogger blog.

  1. In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Users” > “All Users” and select your user profile.
  2. Fill in any relevant fields if you haven’t already. Use your full first and last name as they appear on your Google+ Profile. The only other field important to what we’re doing here is the “Biographical Info” field.
  3. In the “Biographical Info” field, in addition to whatever information about yourself you want to include, add the following using standard HTML:
    • An img link to a good, clear headshot photo of you. This should be the same image used in your Google+ profile (see above).
    • A link to your Google+ profile including the rel=”me” tag, with a + at the end of the anchor text. End the anchor text (the text that is displayed for the link) with a +. So if your anchor text is My Google Profile, make it My Google Profile+.

Here’s an example:

<a href=”https://profiles.google.com/Google_Profile_ID” rel=”me”>My Google Profile+</a>

Note: If you have a multi-author blog, try the WordPress plugin “Google Authorship for Multiple Authors” by +Fraser Cain.

  1. Each author of your blog needs to edit their Google+ profile to list the website in the “Contributor To” field.
  2. Install the plugin. It’s easiest to go to Plugins -> Add New -> and then search for “Google authorship for multiple authors” in your WordPress admin.
  3. Each author needs to update their WordPress User profile and put a link to their Google+ profile.
  4. It’ll take time for Google to reindex your pages, but if you want to test it out, copy-paste your URL using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool.

Note 2: If WordPress strips the rel=”author” tag in your link to your Google+ profile, try this plugin. It should enable your them to allow the tag. Thanks to alert reader Paul Gailey for that tip!

Step 3: Link Your Author Byline to Your Blog “About Me” Page

Warning: You’re going to be messing with the HTML in the template for your WordPress site, so proceed with caution! I recommend backing up your site, or at least copying the original single post template code and pasting it in a text file so you can always restore it if something goes amiss.

  1. In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Appearance” > “Editor”
  2. From the list of templates, select “Single Post” (single.php). This template controls how your individual blog posts look.
  3. Find where your author name is inserted into your posts. This is the tricky part, because the code will vary widely between different templates. In most templates you should look for some code referencing “author vcard”. Find the link code (HTML tag starting with <a) that links the author name to the about author page. It will probably contain some variant of get_author in it. Mine begins like this (with a lot of other code I’m not showing): <a class=”url fn author”</a>. If you can’t find that or are unsure, use step 4.
  4. Optional, if you can’t do step 3. If you are a single author blog, you can just add the Google+ Profile Button to your site. Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/profilebutton/ , select the button you want, copy the code, and paste it into your site’s HTML where you want it to appear.
  5. Add rel=”author” into that tag. So now mine appears (again, with a lot of code left out): <a class=”url fn author” rel=”author”</a>

Step 4: Link Your Google+ Profile to Your Blog About Me Page

  1. On your blog, go to your author bio page (just click your linked name in any of your posts) and copy the URL for that page.
  2. Make sure you’re logged in to your Google account, then go to http://profiles.google.com
  3. Click the “Edit Profile” button
Google Plus edit profile button

 

  1. Find the “Contributor to” section near the bottom of the page and click on it to edit it.
Google+ Profile Links Contributor to Section

 

  1. In the edit box, click “Add custom link.” In the first box put your link text preceded by a + (e.g. “+Joe Smith’s Blog”). In the second box paste the URL from your blog’s “about me” page that you copied in step 1. Important: If this is a multi-author blog, be sure to link to your individual author page on that blog, not the root domain of the site. Linking to the root domain can cause Google to mis-attribute authorship on multi-author blogs.

  1. Click “Save” and then “Done Editing.”

Google automatically adds the rel=”me” tag to links in the “Contributor to” section of your profile, so this establishes the confirming link back to your blog profile.

Step 5: Confirm Your Authorship Link

Follow these steps to confirm that Google sees your verification links properly:

  1. Go to the Google Webmasters Tools Rich Snippets Testing Tool.
  2. Enter the URL of any post showing you as the author  from your blog and click “Preview”
  3. The tool will show you an example of how a search result for your blog might look in Google. If you did everything correctly, you should see your author photo next to the sample result and a big green “Verified” stamp under the Author section:
  1. In the “Extracted Author/Publisher for this page” section, you should also see your author name and green text confirming author verification.
  2. Perform Step 5: Confirm Your Authorship Link from the main instructions above to verify that Google is correctly linking your content to your author profile on G+.

Simple Methods for Single Author Blogs

If you have a single author blog, you can bypass all the coding above and verify your authorship by either of the following methods.

Method 1: Verify by Email

This method will only verify you for content on a site that has the same domain name as the email address you submit. In other words, if your blog is on www.mysite.com, you can verify your authorship for content on that site with an email address that ends in @mysite.com.

  1. Create a Google+ Profile if you don’t already have one (see Step #1 above).
  2. Go to Google’s email authorship verification form.
  3. Enter your email address in the blank and click the signup button.
  4. Make sure all your content has a byline in the form “By Your Name” (e.g., By Mark Traphagen). This must exactly match the name on your Google+ profile.
  5. Google will automatically add a link back to your site in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile. They will also add the email address you submitted as a work email address in your profile. If you don’t want that address visible to the public, edit your profile, click on the section where the address shows, and change the privacy setting.
  6. Perform Step 5: Confirm Your Authorship Link from the main instructions above to verify that Google is correctly linking your content to your author profile on G+.

Method 2: Authorship by Simple Linking

If you don’t have an email address that matches the domain name of your site, try this method (copied from this Google help page)
  1. Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this: rel=author link example Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this (ID number shown is a sample, yours will be different): Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.
  2. Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
    1. Edit the Contributor To section.
    2. In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
    3. If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
    4. Click Save.
  3. Perform Step 5: Confirm Your Authorship Link from the main instructions above to verify that Google is correctly linking your content to your author profile on G+.

Method 3: Authorship by WordPress Widget

+Jonathan Bates on the Momfy’s Odd Blog has posted a very simple method for linking and verifying a one-author WordPress blog using simple code pasted into a widget. Read his method here. He leaves out some pieces that are crucial for authorship credit, though:
  1. Be sure to add “? rel=author” (without quotation marks) immediately after your profile URL in the widget (i.e., no space between the end of the URL and the question mark)
  2. You must also still connect back to your site in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile.
  3. Perform Step 5: Confirm Your Authorship Link from the main instructions above to verify that Google is correctly linking your content to your author profile on G+.

So Where’s My Author Photo?

Circle Mark on Google+Don’t be discouraged if you don’t quickly start seeing your author photo and byline on search results for your posts. You should keep in mind that:

  • It will take some time for Google to begin to associate your posts with your profile. I saw it first on posts I’d created since completing my verification. A few days later it started appearing on older posts.
  • Google doesn’t guarantee that your author photo will always show in results. Google uses complex algorithms to determine not only the order of its search results, but when special features like the author photo help build relevance for the particular searcher.

Good luck! If you have any questions, ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you out. In the meantime, check out more of my guides to using Google+ for Business.

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Comments


  1. Great post. I did this a few months back. Much like yourself, found that in 2012, my most popular articles now have my image on google’s SERP’s.

    An interesting note, one of my articles slipped from #1 to #2 on googles front page a few weeks ago. Now, when I search for that topic, my eyes are drawn to my #2 result instead of the #1 because of the image.

    Reply

  2. Thanks Chris!

    You highlight a great reason why this is worth doing. The #1 spot on Google has such a huge advantage for CTR that anything you can do to draw attention to your result if it’s further down the page is worthwhile. Most who do careful tracking report that their posts that get the author photo have consistently higher CTRs from organic results.

    Reply

  3. Word Press is taking out the href info in my biographical info field. It changes it to My Google+ Profile

    Any suggestions for how I can get word press to accept this info>

    Reply

  4. Tim,

    I modified the article to include a hack to get around that. Under Step #2 above, look for Note 2 at the bottom of that step.

    Reply

  5. Thanks for the detailed information. I thought my profile was properly set up, until your article pointed out what was missing…thanks again.

    Reply

  6. So glad it was helpful to you, Gus!

    Reply

  7. A question about step 2, #3. Is this the type of code that I should use for the image link to my Google Avatar?:

    I was a little confused about the terminology and there was no example provided. Thanks!

    Reply

  8. No need to link anything to your avatar photo, Shanna. What’s important is just that you have some kind of link from your author “about” page to your Google profile that includes the rel=”me” tag. Something like

    My Google Profile+

    with Google_Profile_ID replaced with the long number that shows in the URL of your G+ profile.

    Then of course, remember to also place a link back to your author “about” page in your G+ profile in the “Contributor to” section.

    Reply

  9. Thanks a lot for your Article i implemented it on my own website.

    Reply

  10. thanks. I am new blogger and going try this out.

    Reply

  11. Mark, Does it matter if you try to connect a Google+ Profile or a Google+ ‘PAGE’? (Can you do both without causing problems)

    Which is best to try to connect? My gut tells me the ‘profile’ instead of the ‘page’.

    Reply

  12. Ronnie: for AuthorRank I would definitely go with a personal profile. It’s what Google wants you to do. The “Contributor to” section of the personal profile automatically adds the rel=”me” tag. There is nothing in Pages that does that.

    However, I am experimenting with how much authority I can pass on to a Google+ Page. I’ve switched my company’s page to ownership by my personal profile (the one with apparent high AuthorRank), and I’ve started “signing” many of the Virante posts with a link to my personal profile (“by +Mark Traphagen).

    Reply

  13. Hi mark, re your step 2, “notes” I have found (the hard way!) that some WordPress themes PREVENT the correct syntax in the author bio text box edit area, and in ADDITION to your note about using the syntax of ?rel=me I have found that the Google Snippet tool does not validate it.

    The best way to circumvent this headache – without reverting to WordPress core or child theme modification through a programmer – is to use a plugin that allows the correct HTML syntax. I used this and it worked http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/allow-rel-and-html-in-author-bios/ to allow me to construct rel=”author” in the HTML. Thanks for the article, I have referred people here!

    Reply

  14. Thanks Paul! That’s a much better solution. I’ve updated the post, and gave you credit for the suggestion, with a link to your Google+ profile.

    Reply

  15. hanks Tushar for the nice article, it got me started, I’m anxious to see how long it will take for google to recognize my authorship. By the way, you can provide authorship via email as well.

    Reply

  16. my comment is email ocunts pleas

    Reply

  17. Not sure who “Tushar” is, but I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I talk about the email verification method in the post. See the section “Simple Methods for Single Author Blogs”

    Reply

  18. Nice article admin.Thanx for helping :-)

    Reply

  19. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact used to be a entertainment account it. Glance complicated to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we keep in touch?

    Reply

  20. Hi there, I followed this step by step and got a fatal error – panic! Fatal error: Call to undefined function excerpt() in /home/tora/public_html/wp-content/themes/DonnaTora/index.php on line 20

    It seemed to be the multi-author plugin that did it – there are two of us. Do you have any experience of this plugin?

    Reply

  21. Hi, so I did all of this and first of all I got a fatal error, which I think was from the multiple author plugin. Now, using the testing tool, I am getting my page to come up as the author but not the two authors. Any tips?!

    Reply

  22. Tora,

    Like all plugins, there can be conflicts with other plugins. If you really want to use it, you could try deactivating other plugins one at a time and then seeing if it works. If and when you find the conflicting plugin, then you have to decide which one you want or need more.

    Alternatively, you could try to contact the plugin’s creator, by leaving a comment about your problem here.

    Reply

  23. I did this and for some reason the picture is still not showing up :(

    Don’t know what I did wrong.

    MIke

    Reply

  24. Mike, did you check using the Rich Snippet Testing Tool? Copy one of your post URLs into http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

    If you see your profile photo in the example search result, you’re good to go. You just have to wait for Google to reindex your site, and possibly for you to reach certain threshholds of relevancy where Google thinks it’s worth featuring your content.

    If the RSTT says your author markup is broken, let me know your site URL and I’ll take a look.

    Reply

  25. Hey Mark!

    Thanks for responding. Yes, I checked out snippets and had no errors, but I did notice on my google profile I did not have the link back to my author page in the Contributor To section, so I moved it there. Other than that, I don’t know why they aren’t showing my pic in results.

    Reply

  26. Mike,

    Having the link back from you profile is critical. Google needs the two-way verification before it will start “crediting” your site’s content to you.

    Now you need to keep in mind that Google does not guarantee that your rich snippet will be shown in search results, nor that it will be shown all the time. There seems to be a threshold at which they will start showing it. I strongly suggest you keep on producing good content around your main topics you want to rank for, and build a strong Google+ presence as well.

    Reply

  27. i has try your tips with my wordpress blog. but i still not succesful.

    Reply

  28. Excellent post
    On step 2, point 3, you say “An img link to a good, clear headshot photo of you. This should be the same image used in your Google+ profile”

    How do you do that?

    Reply

  29. Ant,

    That is no longer as necessary as it was when I first wrote this post, but I think it’s still a nice touch. Assuming you’re using WordPress, upload your photo to the Media gallery and copy the link that it shows. Then under Users > Your Profile, make an img link in the “bio” section at the beginning of your bio paragraph like replacing IMAGE URL with the URL you copied from the Media Gallery.

    Reply

  30. I have followed this tutorial and got verification success.Let me see when the Google display my profile photo in search result :)

    Reply

  31. Hi Mark

    I have to say this rel=me thing is driving me crazy!

    I have implemented it on my bio, used the plugin Paul Galley recommended but still i get no dice!

    You can see the link in my profile here
    http://www.saffrontech.com/2012/03/15/global-logistics-and-supply-chain-management-expert-dr-noel-greis-joins-saffron-technology-executive-advisory-board/

    Yet Google doesn’t see the rel=me link?

    http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?view=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.saffrontech.com%2F2012%2F03%2F15%2Fglobal-logistics-and-supply-chain-management-expert-dr-noel-greis-joins-saffron-technology-executive-advisory-board%2F

    As yet I have not set up an author page – do you think an author pages makes sense for a multi author blog?

    Any tips greatfully received!

    Reply

  32. Ok Mark, I’m stumped now. I’ve spent at least 2 hours trying to get this work and I am experienced with a lot of things having to do with WordPress but I can’t seem to get this to work. I keep getting the ‘author profile does not have a rel=”me” link to a Google profile message and no image showing in the Rich Snippets test.

    I tried the single author email method for my main site with my main email address and my profile shows the email has been verified.

    For a second site I went through all the above steps and no matter what I changed I still got this same error message and no photo showing in the text. I tried using the /about page and also the /author/admin page but neither worked.

    I even put a did the ‘optional’ for step 3 and put a badge in the footer (which looks pretty cool but didn’t help with this). I’m using the Catalyst theme.

    And I already had the Allow=rel plugin on both sites.

    Like I said, I’m stumped and don’t want to spend hours more on this. Any suggestions?

    Thanks, Ron

    Reply

  33. Thanks Mark, its working instantly…

    Reply

  34. I’m just follow tutor from Google. Its work fine.. :)

    Reply

  35. Thanks a Lot. Really helpful.

    Reply

  36. Sir i have followed every step you mentioned in your post. and waited for more than 7 days. Till now my author image is not showing in the google search results. Please help me way out to do this thing. Thanx in advance.

    Reply

  37. @Mahmud: Is your site in the US? The author rich snippets have not yet been rolled out to other countries, I’m pretty sure. Did you confirm your linking is correct using the Rich Snippet Testing Tool?

    If you are in the US and the Tool shows your verification link is working, all I can say is be patient. It might help to increase your output of new content. If your site doesn’t get re-crawled by Google very often, that could cause a delay. Also, Google does not guarantee that a rich snippet will be shown. They show it when their algorithms show that it would help enhance a particular search result for the user. The more you gain trust and credibility with a larger audience for the topics about which you post, both on Google+ and elsewhere, the more likely it is that Google will show the rich snippet for your results.

    Reply

  38. Great article on Google Authorship Mark, thanks for putting together such a clear and useful resource!

    Reply

  39. Hello Mark,

    i just cant get it to work, spend 2 days on it already chnaging everything acording to different articles… found your article today and chnaged it all again… now i get the message “Error: Author profile page does not have an authorship link to a Google Profile”. I have added author page to google plus contributor to section. what could be the problem? please help!!!

    thanks,
    Anastasia

    Reply

  40. Anastasia: Could you provide a link to your blog so I can take a look at it?

    Reply

  41. Hi,

    Kindly note that as per your instruction given above we have did the same but still we are not able to confirm my verification link on “Rich Snippets Testing Tool”. It Gives Error: “Author profile page does not have an authorship link to a Google Profile”.
    Please look into the same and reply me with best solution.

    My website URL :- http://courses.bindas-bol.com/tips-on-learning-foreign-languages.php

    Google Plus URL :-
    https://plus.google.com/110563953366838586317/about

    About Author Page on wordpress :-
    http://en.gravatar.com/bindasbol2009

    Regards,
    Sandeep

    Reply

  42. Sandeep,

    The way you’ve set things up, you are never going to qualify for Google author verification, nor are you going to get much benefit from Google+.

    1. Google Author Verification is intended for content (i.e., blog posts, videos, etc.) produced by individual authors. You have no such identifiable content on your site.
    2. You set up your brand as a personal profile on Google+. This violates Google+’s terms of services and may get your Google+ profile removed.
    3. You should do the following:
    – Set up a Google+ brand page.
    – Link the brand page to your web site, and make the Google+ badge point to the Google+ brand page. This establishes a rel=publisher link for your site, and you may get some SEO benefit if your start to build a following on your brand page.
    – Create good, relevant, original content on your site and post new stuff regularly. Properly set up each of your authors with an author page on your site, per my instructions above, and have them connect their Google+ profiles correctly.

    Reply

  43. Nice tutorial on google authorship just done as shown in tutorial now i am just waiting for search engines to index a photo.

    Reply

  44. hello,

    here is the link http://eventadore.com/blog/?p=16

    Reply

  45. Anastasia, right off the bat I see a major problem. The link to your Google+ profile on your blog page is broken because it has an extra quotation mark (“) in the code as well as no prefix. It currently looks like this:

    My Google Profile+

    But should look like this:

    My Google Profile+

    Also eliminate the extraneous gravatar code just after that link.

    Fix that, and then test again with the Rich Snippets Testing Tool. I’m assuming you’ve linked from your Google+ profile back to your blog, with the link in the “Contributor to” section. That’s essential too.

    Reply

  46. I will try this. My author photo is not showing on search result.

    Reply

  47. How might you go about doing this for your Facebook page or Twitter account? Or a guest post on another blog? Or an article on a major site where you have limited, or no, control over your bio, etc. Is there any way to properly claim content you’ve written without an outbound link on those pages?

    Reply

  48. Great question, Scott. For guest posting, it would certainly be advantageous if you can convince the blog owner to set up proper linkage. It will probably help her blog as well as you!

    For all other content, I would definitely link from your G+ profile. It’s probably sufficient to put social profiles (such as Twitter and Facebook) in the regular links section, but I would put any regular sites or blogs where you contribute content in the “Contributor to” link section.

    We’ve seen signs that Google is trying to expand author identity beyond just verified links. People are occasionally starting to see rich snippet result for unverified content that bears their byline with the same name as their Google+ account (Google says make sure it is in the form “by My Name – where “MY NAME” is exactly the same as the name you use on Google+). This probably happens most often where the site is linked in Contributor To on the person’s profile. However, we’ve also heard of this causing mistaken identity (people seeing their content in SERPs with someone else’s author photo), so best practice remains doing the two-way verification link wherever you can.

    Reply

  49. Hi Mark,

    I have tried to follow your steps for single author blogs (which mine is) but I consistently receive these errors:

    Warning: Missing required field “entry-title”.
    Warning: Missing required field “updated”.
    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”.

    So I tried to follow your longer instructions – but I am using wordpress.com rather than wordpress.org and have neither an editor or plug ins available, so my About me page is now returning these errors:

    hfeed
    hentry
    Warning: At least one field must be set for HatomEntry.
    Warning: Missing required field “entry-title”.
    Warning: Missing required field “updated”.
    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”.

    I am quite sure I have done something wrong – but I am also concerned if this system will work with WordPress.com?

    Looking forward to your help!

    Reply

  50. Elle, I just checked one of your posts in the Rich Snippet Testing Tool and it confirms your author linkup is valid. All you need to see there is your author photo in the example post and the following to know you’re good to go:

    publisher
    linked Google+ page = https://plus.google.com/100760215492308523493?prsrc=3
    Verified: Publisher markup is verified for this page. Learn more.
    author
    linked author profile = http://twitter.com/tripwheels_elle
    author
    linked author profile = http://twitter.com/tripwheels_elle

    Also, I found one of your posts by searching “trip wheels us car hire” on Google and your author rich snippet is showing. Congratulations!
    The other errors you saw you don’t need to worry about, at least as far as authorship is concerned.

    One suggestion: I would make sure your title tag for each post has an SEO-friendly title for that post in it; right now they are all the same (the name of your blog).

    Reply

  51. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your speedy reply! I am not sure I understand your suggestion for the title tag? I title the blog post, but I don’t know how to stop the name of the blog showing too – is that what you are suggesting?

    I can only see the rich author snippet showing for my main website home page, rather than the blog site – which I would prefer as that is where I am writing :)

    Reply

  52. Hey, do you know what happens if someone links to the root domain of your site? Would the verification system kick in to see who is the actual author to give proper attribution?

    Reply

  53. Hi Chad. For a single author blog site that should not cause an problems. However, with a multi-author site, I’ve seen Google get easily confused, sometimes even attributing a result to the wrong author. Best practice for a multi-author site is to create a unique author page for each author and have each author link his or her G+ profile (in the “Contributor to” section) to their own author page. If you are able to tag post bylines linking to those author pages with rel=”author” and the link on each author’s page to their G+ profile with rel=”me” more the better.

    Reply

  54. Sir, You’re very supportive and informative person..
    Thanks.

    Reply

  55. Thank you for a great article i was wondering if you could help . I am getting the below error and i am really not sure why

    author
    linked author profile = http://www.nicheadvice.co.uk/author/richard-stokes/
    Error: Author profile page does not have an authorship link to a Google Profile.

    So far I have made an authors page:
    http://www.nicheadvice.co.uk/about-richard-stokes/
    as you can see this has a link page to my google profile page

    The above page has this link on it

    Google

    them i set up a Blog page with a link to the about me page on my site
    http://www.nicheadvice.co.uk/personal-pension-advice-for-self-employed-business-owners/

    Then i went in the google+ profile and linked back to my about me page
    https://plus.google.com/114132624177637474621

    The only thing i can think of is that there are 2 of us writing for this website and maybe the wordpress site doest allow multiple authors?

    Any ideas why i cant get it to work?

    Reply

  56. Richard,

    Your author page on your site needs to have a link to your Google+ profile with the rel=”me” tag. So My Google+ Profile.

    Your byline on blog posts should point to that author page on your site with a rel=”author” tag. So

    Then finally you should link to your author page (http://www.nicheadvice.co.uk/author/richard-stokes/) in the Contributor To section of your Google+ profile.

    Reply

  57. This how-to article is extremely helpful, Mark. Thank you. For over a year, I thought Google+ was only free for users of @gmail.com domains, but through this guide, I learned how to activate Google+ services for my business domain @companyjuice.com, which is huge! Also FYI, this page title is mis-spelled “Google Authorshp” with no “i”. You may want to update this ;-)

    Thanks — Marty McGee — http://www.companyjuice.com

    Reply

  58. hi please help I don’t no why my profile picture is not showing up in google search my website is http://www.pudDesign.com and this is my google+ page https://plus.google.com/u/0/109743081631929279164/posts

    Reply

  59. Steve, the Structured Data Testing Tool shows that Google recognizes a valid Author link between your profile and your site (see here). But as I said in my post, just having the linkup does not guarantee that you will get an author rich snippet for results. Google wants to show this for authoritative content. It would help if you began posting helpful content on your site, then share it to G+ and other social media outlets and get people to engage with it and reshare it.

    Reply

  60. thanx a lot….it works

    Reply

  61. Very Nice and Precise, I am using thesis, and it works just like charm!

    Reply

  62. Hello,

    Still my blog showing unverified in testing tool. pls help me

    Reply

  63. Hello , I have created my website 2 weeks ago & my image successfully appears on rich snippets but it doesn’t show up in google search results
    ITTWIST
    CEO

    Reply

  64. Dear Mark, thanks so much for all of the info you gave on how to get Google authorship for WordPress sites. Most of the other postings that I’ve seen have blithely said insert some code “re=author..” but never say where to put the code. Since I don’t know HTML, I have no idea where to put that code. I’ve gotten around it by having at the bottom of all of my blogs, a link to my Google Plus profile, so my photo does show up for some of my postings.

    Reply

  65. Thanks Mark, I am not that big a techie, and for quite some time I was reading about AuthorRank and everything, but didn’t find any place where it explained how to add it to free blogs in such a detail. You’re a saver!! :)

    Reply

  66. Nice and easy illustration. Thanks for helping!

    Reply

  67. Hi Mark,

    I Have got a Google + account and my address has been verified. I have added articles to my profile under contribution. I go to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool and put in the article URL and link it to the profile and it says author verified. But when I do the Structured Data Testing Tool again for the article, it shows it has not been verfied.

    Please can you help?

    Reply

  68. Excellent article! I have started to use Google Autorship, but after reading your article I realised that I had missed a couple of steps.
    Thank you!

    Reply

  69. OK, so if it shows that my two web site/blogs are verified, and my picture is showing up beside searches, then it worked…yes????

    Thanks again for your help,
    Nancy Smeltzer

    Reply

  70. Thanks Mark for such a great blog entry.

    With the Webmaster Tools displays a error “Warning: Missing required field “updated”.”. I googled for the possible solution and found many blogger written to delete lines from template. I can’t find any useful post for my case, you can check my blog itorian.com.

    Regards!

    Reply

  71. i have a question. i just verified the domain email and added author linkbacks in the footer of one of my sites but it’s not testing as good with the google tool. website is http://www.mountainviewcarpetcare.com and the link back is my name at the bottom footer kyle van

    any ideas?

    Reply

  72. Hi,
    IN google webmasters/tools/richsnippets My profile image/ face is showing but in google search itsn’t showing help me on this
    My web URL 99students.com

    Reply

  73. The Author Rich Snippet is never guaranteed just because you have Authorship connected. Google’s algorithm determines when it is good to show it for any particular searcher with a particular query. Since the first of this year it has been even more fickle. As you gain more authority and Google sees that people trust and share your content, it will show more often, but you should get used to the fact that it will not always show all the time.

    Also be aware that it shows only once per result page per author.

    Reply

  74. thanks for the reply mark. my whole issue was leaving a ” mark out of the code. the link was filling in with a ? mark but it was not checking as valid. once i corrected the code it now checks out :)

    Reply

  75. Thanks for the info. But i have small problem. I have linked my google+ profile with my blogger. So for some search result it shows the photo. Some times it misses. Can you please help me to fix this?

    Reply

  76. Hi Mark!
    I am also getting the same problem. I have changed my wp theme just now. On the previous theme, I was not getting these errors. Though my authorship is verified and got indexed for those previously written article but still I wants to ask if google will still continue to show my profile pic ? as I was not getting these errors and now richsnippet is
    suggesting me to fix at least one of these “missing” fields.

    Reply

  77. I have a problem in that Google is linking to my wrong profile. I had two Google+ profiles. When it first started, I had a Gmail profile, and then when it was available, I moved to the Apps for my domain profile.

    My website is http://www.sofloridaestateplanning.com.

    The correct profile should be https://plus.google.com/111265287923050810349, and when I run the rich data testing tool, it says it’s linking to that page.

    However, when I do a site search, https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Asofloridaestateplanning.com&aq=f&oq=site%3A&aqs=chrome.2.57j58j59l3j60.2153j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 it is still linking to the old profile, which is https://plus.google.com/100906954632572164394 and is nl longer in existence.

    How do I get Google to reset it self to link to the new profile. Is there some way to tell it the old one isn’t there anymore? Is it just a matter of time?

    Reply

  78. I did this. But only few posts, i am seeing the author name. But rest it is not showing. What to do? can you please help

    Reply

  79. Great post. Thank you for sharing. I have been trying without success to get author verification.

    Keep receiving conflicting messages: That email and domain has already been verified for authorship. View your profile.
    and:
    Authorship Testing Result
    Authorship is not working for this webpage.
    Authorship can be explicitly established via two primary methods: email verification or rel=author markup. Keep reading for more details on the implementation of each method for this page. Learn more

    I would appreciate any help getting this resolved. Thanks so much!

    Michele

    Reply

  80. Hi Michele. I would be able to help best if I could look at the site where you are posting. Send me the URL at mtraphagen@virante.com

    Reply

  81. Is there a plugin today (April 2013) for WP that will handle all this manual work? Any recommendations?

    Reply

  82. There are several, but the most-recommended seems to be Yoats’s SEO Plugin, which includes Authorship implementation for multi-author blogs.

    Reply

  83. Mark, this post is AMAZING. Massive help. I’m working on a site for client however, and can’t seem to get rid of the ‘Warning: Missing required field “entry-title”.’ error message in the Structured Data Testing Tool. Any ideas? Pulling my hair out on this one.

    http://rmpproperty.com
    http://rmpproperty.com/2013/03/the-property-podcast-has-launched/

    Thanks again for the post.

    Cheers,
    Ed

    Reply

  84. I couldnt do it… I think my problem is I had posted on admin only… How can I fix this?

    Reply

  85. Thanks for this tutorial! It was very helpful and straightforward. My image is showing up in the search results, but when I do the Rich Snippet Test, my profile doesn’t indicate “verified”. How do I fix this?

    Reply

  86. Glad you enjoyed the post! Sometimes the Rich Snippet Testing Tool (now officially called the Structured Data Testing Tool) just fails. It isn’t a 100% trustworthy verifier of Authorship. Looking at your site, you’ve got a link to your G+ profile on your content pages, a link back in your G+ profile Contributor To section and your Author photo is showing in search. I would say that Google sees your Authorship and don’t worry what the tool is saying.

    Reply

  87. Ed, sorry I missed your comment earlier. The links threw it into our spam filter. That error message has to do with obscure features and has nothing to do with Authorship. Don’t worry about it. The Structured Data Testing Tool shows verified Authorship for your site’s content. You’re good to go!

    Reply

  88. Hi there,

    before I embark on all this (I am always overwhelmed when I come across new things) I have a question… We have a logo that I would like to use as my “photograph”, rather than my own (which wouldn’t mean much to many). I have just created my G+ business account, but how do I go about making sure that logo appears on the Google searches, as opposed to my picture? In other words, can I use your method with a business account? Also, my blog is multi-author, but I would like to keep the same logo throughout. I suppose it is just a matter of editing the bios accordingly… is that so?

    TIA

    Andrea

    Reply

  89. You’re a good man Mark. Thank you so much! It’s put my client’s mind at ease! Take care, Ed

    Reply

  90. Hi Andrea,

    Sorry I missed your question earlier; I’ve been away a lot recently. I hope you see this response.

    The simple answer is, no, you can not use a brand logo for an Authorship rich snippet result. Google is very strict about this. In fact, they use facial image recognition software to make sure that any Authorship snippet photos are a real photo of a human face. This is because the whole point of Google Authorship is to help people associate actual persons (not brands) with the content they produce against the web. Plus, at some point, Google may decide to use the data it gains about individual authors to score them according to how people respond when they post on certain topics, which could become a rankings boost to their topically-related content on your site.

    For now, Google has rel=publisher for brands, which is a verified connection between your official web site and your Google+ brand page. So far, that has not resulted in any brand logos showing up in Google search, even though the Structured Data Testing Tool (http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets) does show a logo snippet in example result for verified pages. This may indicate that at some future time Google may start giving brand rich snippets. But I suspect that if and when that happens, it will be for main site pages and not for authored content. In other words, I anticipate that on any pages linked to a verified author, the Authorship snippet will supersede the brand snippet.

    One thing that is showing up now for verified pages: the possibility of getting a “knowledge panel” branded result in the right sidebar of Google Search. For an example, search our brand name “virante” on Google. You’ll see it shows our logo, and our name and Gogole+ page following, along with a Circles button so someone could add us to their Google+ circles right from the result. It also displays our most recent Google+ posts from our brand page. (Below that we also are getting a Google+ Local result, as we’ve verified our location with Google Places.)

    Reply

  91. Hi Mark,

    thanks a lot for your VERY insightful reply.

    Just one question… how big do you have to be to get the “knowledge panel”?

    Besides, I did Google you, but could see no Circle button, neither on Safari or FF.

    This is all I see (plus log and map that don’t show here):

    ImageSee photos
    Virante, Inc.
    Address: 101 J Morris Commons Ln, Morrisville, NC 27560, United States
    Phone:+1 800-650-0820

    On a smaller scale, how big (or small) do you need to be to get the the submenus (for want of a better word) I see below your main entry on Safari (I don’t see it on FF)?

    Reply

  92. We don’t know what exactly triggers a knowledge panel result. And as with any special result in Google Search, it won’t show every time and for every user. Try searching for “Virante” both while logged in to Google and completely logged out (preferably in the browser’s privacy or incognito mode). I started noticing our knowledge panel result after we crossed 5000 Google+ followers, but I wouldn’t want to say that’s the trigger-point, or even that it is necessarily the number of followers that triggers it. Rich snippet results are controlled algorithmically by factors that are more complex than that, and hard to measure from the outside.

    The “submenus” to which you refer are called “site links” and they are generated automatically by Google. That is, you can’t create them yourself. Google shows them when it thinks they may be useful to a searcher. Typically, they are for internal pages of your site that come up as landing pages for a lot of people’s searches.

    Reply
  93. anothermaria says:

    Thank you for the detailed instructions! The Structured Data Testing Tool was not working for me until I figured out what I was missing from your post… much more detailed and helpful than the Google instructions!

    I do have one question though. I did not want the “Contributor to” links to be public on my Google+ profile, so I edited the settings so that those links could only be seen by me. Do you think this will negatively affect the chances of my authorship coming up in the Google searches? Your thoughts/opinions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Reply

  94. I don’t think it should have any negative effects “anothermaria.” Google wants us to use Authorship, and they also want us to have these privacy options. I think if there were any negatives on Authorship by making that section private, Google would warn us. And besides that, The Contributor To section provides Google with the data it needs to confirm your Authorship, whether or not you make that section private.

    Reply
  95. anothermaria says:

    Ah okay, I will leave it private then. Thanks again for your help!

    Reply

  96. Hello sir,
    This is very helpful and important article, thanks for sharing great tips.
    I’m just about to start writing my blog on wordpress.com (free). I’ve placed Google+ profile link in wordpress author bio and also, wordpress blog link in contributor section of Google+ profile. The Structured Data Testing Tool says, “Authorship is working for this webpage”. Do I’ve missed anything or it’ll take some time to verified?
    Also, I’ve tried to place Google+ badge code in TEXT/HTML widget but, it’s showing up on blog. What’s wrong with it?

    Thank you!

    Reply

  97. Jitendra, just having Authorship properly linked up does not automatically guarantee it showing in search results. See the final section of this post (“So Where’s My Photo in Search?”)

    Reply

  98. That’s right, may be I want some patience..:D
    Thank you!

    Reply

  99. I got this to work on one site and when I do the same thing here: http://www.social-media-marketing.us.com I get these two messages. Authorship is not working for this webpage. and Cannot verify that rel=author markup has established authorship for this webpage.

    I have verified the site, I have verified the email address at that domain. I’ve added the same code I added in a site that works and only changed the ID of this Google+ page but my author ID remains the same. Any idea what I’ve done wrong to get the error messages in the Google Structured Data Testing Tool?

    Reply

  100. Rick, I just ran that site through the Structured Data Testing Tool and it shows verified Authorship. I’m assuming you worked out your own problem!

    Reply

  101. Thanks Mark, I did find the answer I wanted. By mistake I listed the url in “Links” instead of “Contributor”.

    Reply

  102. Well, I really liked this post very much, Thanks for this!

    Reply

  103. Well this is really great post, I like it very much!

    Reply

  104. Thanks for this really cool post, I love it really much, Really great!

    Reply
  105. Mike Steffano says:

    I was pulling up everywhere on google with my photo and my picture then I changed my picture to a badge or a logo and google plus removed everything so I placed my old picture back on a week ago and still haven’t had any luck of google adding all my pages back. Can you guide me or have any suggestions.

    Reply

  106. I just followed these instructions to set my authorship on a wordpress site I contribute to (multi-author). I tried to use the plug-in for multi-author sites you suggested but it didn’t play nice with my theme. So I used manual instructions step-by-step. When I use the Structured Data Testing Tool, the preview is working and the authorship says it’s working, but it will not verify. This is what I get:

    Email verification has not established authorship for this webpage.
    Email address on the adhdmomma.com domain has been verified on this profile: No
    Public contributor-to link from Google+ profile to adhdmomma.com: Yes
    Automatically detected author name on webpage: Penny Williams.

    BUT, I have verified all emails on my G+ profile and have verified that the email in my WordPress site profile is part of my G+ profile and verified. Please help on that.

    Also, I would really like this to link to one of my G+ pages (https://plus.google.com/b/104757962008098024892/104757962008098024892/about) and not just my profile (https://plus.google.com/117349309282080630522/) — is that possible?

    Reply

  107. Hi Penny,

    1) If the SDTT shows you having authorship, you do not need the email verification. Email verification is a secondary method for those who won’t or can’t code the author linkage into their site.

    2) Authorship is for individuals. You can’t associate it with a G+ page. However, you should link your page to your official site and your site to your Google+ page. This creates a rel=publisher connection that Google is using increasingly to verify official brands.

    Reply

  108. Hi there! This post is so clear, and I’ve done everything recommended and authorship still will not show up!! This is the link to my test page: http://englishtutorhome2.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/poetry-essay-analysis-of-birthday.html
    (I’ve only done it one one post because I figured that if it wasn’t working there was no point in copying and pasting links onto other pages)

    I have added ‘rel=author’ in the link from ‘by Melanie Kendry’ on the post
    I added ‘rel=me’ here http://englishtutorhome2.blogspot.co.uk/p/about.html
    I have a Google+ account which is linked
    I am even blogging on Blogger, for goodness’ sake!

    What on earth am I doing wrong??? Please help :-)

    Reply

  109. Melanie, the byline at the bottom of your post links to your Google+ profile, not the About Me page on your site. Therefore Google can’t follow from the Contributor To link in your G+ profile to the content. Try pointing the link in Contributor To to the home page of your site.

    Reply

  110. This is freaking awesome! I am going to try this tonight:) I really think it will help my posts stand out over other photographers! Thank-you!

    Reply

  111. Mark, in search results (https://www.google.com/#q=%22michael+cohan%22+different+mba+programs) it shows my picture and name (Michael Cohan) but not the number of Google Circles I am in (like for other people). Do you know why I cannot see ” in # Google+ circles” like I can see for other people’s articles. Thanks.

    Reply

  112. hey Mark Thanks for sharing. I have also read somewhere that we will also get backlink from Google when we enable Google authorship. is it true?

    Reply

  113. This seems like a ploy for people to sign up for a Google Plus account. Not sure I’m convinced, and plus I’m a bit shy!

    Reply

  114. Hello Sir
    i did the ”Simple Method for Single Author Blogs” And i did the ”Method 2: Authorship by Simple Linking” all is ok i even seen the picture appears in the structure testing tools but Is not Verified As yours in the picture above This is what i get

    [[ Email verification HAS not established authorship for this webpage. ]]
    [[ Email address on the blogspot.com domain has-been verified on this profile: No ]]
    [[ Contributor to public-link from Google+ profile to blogspot.com : Yes ]]
    [[ Automatically detected author name on webpage: Not Found. ]]

    I’m A single author by the way

    Reply

  115. If your picture appears in the example on the tool, then you are good to go. You do not need every one of those things on that list to qualify for authorship.

    Reply

  116. I’m having a problem right now. My profile picture used to show up correctly a few days ago. But not anymore. Here’s a link to my website: http://anshumansinha.in
    Please help!

    Reply

  117. Did you recently change your Google+ profile photo? The Structured Data Testing Tool shows your content has the correct connection (http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?url=http://anshumansinha.in/technology/apple-hold-event-october-22-new-ipads/) but it may be your side-facing author photo that has you blocked in SERPs. Google uses facial recognition software for Author photos, which must show both eyes clearly.

    Reply

  118. Hi, my Google authorship has verified and Author image has shown in the Google search but the problem is my Google circle Count is not displaying, kindly help me do display my Google circle count in Google search.

    Reply

  119. I am having the same issue.

    Reply

  120. Authorship is infact very good asset for increasing our traffic, by increasing Click through rate.

    Reply

  121. I forgot to mention, I have a minor problem with Google Authorship. Some pages are not showing up with authorship (Image), do you any reason?

    Reply

  122. Is it compulsory to only have passport styled photo of ours to be included in Authorship profile?

    Reply

  123. App for PC: in order to have your photo show in search results, it must be a recognizable human face. We’ve discovered that the facial recognition software used by Google has to be able to discern two eyes and a mouth in the relatively correct positions. So sunglasses, a side portrait, or being too far from the camera can all cause the photo not to show.

    Reply

  124. SBI Recruitment, if you have some pages showing an author rich snippet, then there is nothing else you can do from your side. Rich snippets are never guaranteed. The Google algorithm decides when they will show and for what queries.

    Reply

  125. Krishna, Google no longer displays the circle count in Authorship results outside the USA. Don’t know why.

    Reply

  126. Mark. Thanks. But what about for Google Authorship inside the U.S. that does not have circle count? Thanks.

    Reply

  127. Mark your posts are always very informative.. Thanks for sharing this post… i really learn a lot about authorship through your posts.. thanks again

    Reply

  128. Thank you for the detailed instructions!

    Reply

  129. what i’ve to do for multiple authors

    Reply

  130. My question is does Google consider authorship factor in its ranking algorithm???

    Reply

  131. I have followed single author blog, But my wemaster tools show like below mentioned details,

    Missing: author
    Missing: entry-title

    How can i fix this.

    Reply

  132. I have implemented this into my website. And in rich snipset tool showing it properly. But in google search it not showing image and author name.
    Any help appreciated.

    Reply

  133. After WP 3.5 update. You just need to put your G+ URL in your profile and you’re done. No more Author Rich Snippet Issues.

    Reply

  134. Hi Mark

    You made it pretty simple to understand…. I’m going to follow it now.

    Thanks for this valuable article.
    Suzi

    Reply

  135. Mark,

    Thanks for the great post. This is a little easier in the newer version of wordpress but this was the best tutorial I found. It made setting this up a breeze with no coding……Thanks!

    Reply

  136. Bro,I agree with you.Right Now,no need extra work to show our author profile on google search.thanks

    Reply

  137. A very good informative article, Mark. Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply

  138. From the Latest updates from Google
    Authorship photo from Low priority sites were automatically removed and will not be shown in future.

    Reply

  139. I’m using blogger and my image is showing on Google search results. I believe that my blog will be promoted by Google. Moreover, the authorship image is very useful for bloggers who were running personal blogs.

    Reply

  140. This is a nice post ….but it is not working on my blog…….so if you have any another tricks then tell me …

    Reply

  141. Very well detailed post..i had installed a wordpress plugin to help me with this but havent seen my photo appearing..have bookmarked this and will try it out on one of my blogs to see if the image appears

    Reply

  142. I found its very hard to edit single.php codes im my theme.
    I failed to add upated date and vcard, and have to wait the theme author to update his files.
    Thank you for this nice post.

    Reply

  143. Can we do this using plugin or not? Not able to do it properly. Image appears for 2-3 but then again it not comes. Please help

    Reply

  144. Can we do it with plugin or not? Image come for 2-3 day but it disappears again please help!!

    Reply

  145. I am still not able to understand Method 2: Authorship by Simple Linking, In this method the point number 2. (Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated) This is not at all clear to me, i searched it every where still im not able to fix it. Please help me out by explaining it more elaborately.

    Reply

  146. Great. I used the widget option to get authorship using plugin

    Reply

  147. Authorship is infact very good asset for increasing our traffic, by increasing Click through rate. -

    Reply

  148. I have used the same way to show my author photo in google search, Its really a appreciated feature that google brought for author.

    Reply

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