Authorship markup is something that Google recently began to support which makes a thumbnail of an author’s photo show up in the search results next to the content that they have created. This could be for content such as an article or a blog post or a video. It not only given authors prominent treatment in Google search results, but it also helps to link all content by one author together throughout the web.
This is a great feature for human users as it increases trust by being able to put a face to the information they are consuming and also by being able to quickly and easily find more content by that same author along with a brief bio about them. This is also a great feature for the optimization of websites as content that contains the authorship mark-up is given a higher priority in search results.
The requirements for implementing authorship markup if that you need to have:
- A Google Profile
- A Website
- An “About Me” or author page on that website
Basically the overall linking structure that we are going to create to implement the mark up is:
- A link from your blog to your “about” or author page
- A link from your about or author page to your Google profile account
- A link from your Google Profile account to your about or author page
Setting Up Your Google Profile
Settling up a Google Profile is a relatively easy task, especially if you already have a gmail account. A gmail account is a requirement to setting up a Google Profile. So if you do not have a gmail account, you must create one (they are free.) You can create a gmail account by going to gmail.com and clicking Create Account. An active gmail account (or one that is actually being used) will give your Google Profile higher authority.
Once the gmail account has been created:
- Go to profiles.google.com to set up the profile.
- Click on the Create My Profile button and then fill in your name, gender, and upload a photo. This is the photo that is going to appear next to your content in search results.
- On the next page you will be prompted to enter a brief description about yourself as well as your location, schooling, and occupation. While most of these are optional, the more information you are willing to provide here the better.
- There is also an area to the right of the page where you can add links. This is the important section.
- Under the “other profiles” section add a link to your about/author page on your website. Just putting a link to your website will not cut it – this need to be specifically to a page that is about you.
- Under the “contributor” link section add links to any places where you contribute content that is not part of your website, such as an external blog that you might write for. Again, this link needs to go to a profile page that is specifically about you, not just the website in general.
- Under recommended links you can add links to any additional sources that are about you that users may be interested, such as Facebook or Twitter
- Once your edits are complete, click the “done editing” button at the top of the page.
You are now finished creating your Google Profile account. As mentioned above, you are going to need to link you about or author page to this account.
You can get a vanity URL for your Google Profile (this is similar to Facebook in that you can set the URL to include your name rather than just numbers). To get a vanity URL, go back to edit it again and near the bottom of the page will be the option to choose a URL – either leaving it as the numbers or setting it to include the name on the account. Make sure to save your changes when you’re done by clicking the “done editing” button.
You can now click on the “Google Profile” logo at the top left of the page and you will be brought to the public-facing view of your profile. This is the URL that you will need to link to.
Adding rel=author and rel=me Links on Your Website
You are going to need to add two types of links to your website:
The Rel=Author link goes on all pages that you have authored, such as all of the posts in a blog. This link is going to point to the about or author page (which needs to be on the same website). If you have a WordPress blog, you can add the code to the “single page” template and it will be applied to all of your blog posts. Most blogging templates will have the author of a post in the byline. This is where you want to add the rel author link. These links need to be actual clickable links, not just hidden away in the header.
You are basically just creating a standard link somewhere on the page that links to information about the author of the post. The only difference is adding the rel author attribute into the code of the link:
You now need to link your about or author page on your website to the Google Profile that you created. This link tells Google that the author of all of this content is the same person as this Google Profile.
On your about/ author page only, add:
Again, this needs to be a real clickable link and not hidden in the header or footer.
And that’s it! You should now have a Google Profile page that links to the about or author page on your website. You should also have all of the content that you have created linking to your about or author page, and then lastly, your about/ author page should be linking to your Google Profile.