G+ Authorship: Let’s Do It
Intro to Authorship
Authorship Authorship Authorship – yes we are jumping on the Authorship bandwagon. Actually, we’ve been preaching it since the dawn of rich snippets for a few years now so don’t call us trendy.
It is time to get on your game people. I don’t care how big/small you are or how much you might hate Google – it is time to do what works. There is no need to go into the how’s or why’s of what to engage in Google Authorship, if you don’t believe it then just head over to Bing and have fun.
Getting Set Up
Diving right in, the first thing you want to do is get yourself set up. Whoever is your blog admin better damn well have an active G+ account if you want your ship to sail. Assuming that is all done, (we will also assume you are using WordPress, this can be done with any modern day framework or website) head on over to your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to your user account. In the Google+ field, paste your Google+ profile and save:
Once you are finished you can go to any blog post in which that user has authored and view the source in order to verify that Google loves you:
Verify Google Authorship by Viewing Source
Now you are finished! WRONG. Next, start nagging all of your authors to do the same. As an editor, make it known that everyone must have an active G+ account (I know this is what Google wanted and was all in their master plan but we have to do it anyway)
Ok once this is finished, navigate over to your Google+ profile page.
Important: Make sure this is your personal page, not your company page.
Edit your profile and under “Other profiles,” put a link and a label back to your website. This is an extremely critical step as it is the way that Google will verify that this is your site. A lot of people skip this step and this is typically when they start asking, “I added my profile to WordPress but why is my picture not showing up in the search results.” That is the reason. Now go on over to your Google Webmaster Tools account and go to Labs > Structured Data Testing Tool. From there punch in your website and hit “preview.” You should now see a screen that shows something along these lines:
Verified Google+ authorship
Once you are finished you can test that it is working. Google has had the rich snippet testing tool now for a while and is a great way to see if you are on the right page.
Tip – There is one last step that a lot of people skip that was pointed out on Google’s on Google+ page. Make sure that somewhere (usually in the bottom of each blog post) that your name (as it appears on your Google+ profile) appears within your blog post. This will ensure that each and every blog post is factored in.
Another Tip – You also want to be sure that on your G+ page that you have an @domain.com email address listed. This is another layer of verification that Google has employed to ensure that no nonsense is happening.
Welcome to the Club.
You are now accepted in Google’s wonderful world of authorship.
This should have been mentioned earlier but for god’s sake: make sure you have a decent photo of yourself on your profile. There have been several studies on background image color, use of animated illustrations of yourself and other details that can help increase conversion rate and just make you look more professional and authentic.
Now it is time to extend your arm as far into this world as possible.
You can start by (as stated above) mandating your crew to keep active Google+ profiles and verifying the steps above.
You are now a god amongst gods. Another action step that you can take to further extend your reach (and maybe bring in more clients) is to preach about the wonders of authorship and how it can help. This will certaintily provide a win-win strategy for all parties involved and can definitely create a fairly nice return if executed properly.
Stay away from gimmicks. There are all sorts of WordPress Author Themes and frameworks coming out now, there are plugins out the wazoo claiming to do everything for you. This can be as simple as you want it to be.
There is no substitute for good content. We are now seeing SERPs with 7/10 results with author profiles, as well as profiles deep into the later pages of the SERPs. Just like all of Google’s latest search add-on’s, consumers will start to get immune to this any day now. Don’t forget to title your posts better then the last blogger, same goes for your meta-description.
I hope that you’ve taken away everything that you need in order to get yourself set up in the world of Google+ authorship, if you have any questions please always feel free to reach out: