Did you know that by establishing Google Authorship, you help build authority and gain recognition with the content you publish? Setting up Google Authorship is a simple process and only takes a few minutes. Follow these six easy steps to set up Google Authorship!
1. Create a Google+ profile. If you already have a Google account, good news! Google has already created a Google+ profile for you. If you don’t have a Google account, setting one up is free and easy. Just go to Google’s signup page and follow the steps outlined in the gray box. Keep in mind it’s important to have an easy recognizable headshot as your profile photo.
2. Add the websites you publish to on your profile. When viewing your Google+ profile, click on the “About” tab, then scroll down to the “Links” box. (On my Google+ profile, it’s a blue box on the right-hand side). In the “Links” box, you’ll see a “Contributor to” section. Click the blue “Edit” button located at the bottom of the box, then click “Add custom link” under “Contributor to.” Label the site what it’s familiarly known by (for example, 123Print Blog), and put in the exact URL. Then hit the blue Save button!
3. Double check your name. You’ll want to make sure a byline containing your name appears on each page of your content (for example, “By Erin Schwartz”) and that your byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile exactly.
4. Insert your Google+ profile URL to your CMS author page. This will be different depending on which CMS you use. In WordPress, for example, you’ll log in to the admin panel, then click the “Users” tab on the left-hand side. Click “Edit” under you username. In WordPress, there is actually a field specifically for a Google+ profile URL. If your CMS doesn’t have a specific field, you can simply copy and paste into another appropriate field such as your bio.
5. Verify your email address. If you used an email address on the same domain as the website you publish to, then great! All you have to do is visit Google’s authorship page, and submit your email to signup for authorship. If you don’t have an email address on the same domain, there’s one extra step: Instead of simply copying and pasting your Google+ profile URL to your CMS author page, you’ll need to create a link instead. Insert this link into your CMS author page: <a href=“[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>, and replace [profile_url] with your Google+ profile URL. You can replace the word “Google” in the link with something more user friendly, like “Check out Erin on Google+,” as this is a line of text that will appear in your author bio. Note that your link MUST contain the ?rel=author parameter, or it won’t work.
6. Test your authorship. By using Google’s structured data testing tool, you can test to see if your Google Authorship is working. Simply put in a URL that is a page of content with your author byline and click the red “Preview” button. If everything is working, you should see a thumbnail of your Google+ profile picture show up alongside your article. It will also tell you exactly what author data Google can extract from your page.
Were you able to successfully set up your Google Authorship? If you have any questions or confusion, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can shoot an email to [email protected], leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or better yet, Google+!