You may have noticed some Google search results pages (SERPs) include a Google+ photo of the webpages author.
For example with this site a search for Stallion Responsive (name of the Premium WordPress Theme Package I develop) in Google shows my Google+ photo to the left of the Google listing for this site.
Which makes the sites in the SERPs with Google author profile image links stand out and might generate more click thrus: that would be more search engine visitors.
Google Authorship Markup
It used to be a real pain to link your Google+ photo with your articles, but a combination of Stallion Responsive WordPress Theme options and Google adding new ways to add Google authorship markup has made it relatively easy :-)
If you don’t already have a Google Plus Profile you’ll need to signup with a Google service. Google has so many services, if you have used Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, Google AdSense, Google AdWords, Gmail…. you either already have a Google+ profile or are a few clicks away from one.
Click this link and it will take you to your Google+ profile URL if you have a Google+ profile: Check Google Plus Profile.
My Google + profile URL is: https://plus.google.com/+DavidLaw/posts can also be accessed via https://plus.google.com/115218034784885853617/ (there’s an option to use a name).
For the Google authorship markup example below I’m using https://plus.google.com/+DavidLaw/, doesn’t matter if you leave the posts bit on or remove it like I do.
Google Authorship rel=”author” Meta Tag
Stallion Responsive includes built in support for the Google authorship rel=”author” meta tag, in short Stallion Responsive will add this code to the head section of some or all sections of your WordPress blog.
<link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/+DavidLaw/" />
If you aren’t a Stallion Responsive theme user copy the code above, replace my Google+ profile with yours, edit your WordPress themes header.php file add the code above the closing head tag so it looks like this:
<link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/+DavidLaw/" /> </head>
For Stallion Responsive Theme users go to “Stallion Theme” >> “Promotion Options” and add your Google Plus profile URL into the “Google Authorship” form and click “Save Settings”.
You can double check the authorship rel=”author” meta tag was added correctly byt going to your sites home page in a browser like Firefox of Google Chrome and “Viewing Page Source”: in FireFox/google Chrome it’s “Right Click” the web page and click the “Viewing Page Source” option.
Stallion Responsive includes an advanced WordPress SEO comments feature that turns your larger comments into post like pages (Super Comments), you can see examples in the comments below (click the link in the bottom right corner of larger comments).
Since comments have multiple authors we don’t want every comment to be associated to the WordPress blog owner, so unless you are the only commenter on your WordPress blog keep the “Hide on Super Comments ON” ticked: this setting results in the Google authorship rel=”author” meta tag NOT being added to the super comments pages.
Google has added features to the authorship markup that when a site is linked to a Google+ profile (next step) if the Google+ profile name and comment author name matches it will link your photo with your comments. Basically on my Google+ profile my name is “David Law” and I use the same name “David Law” for my WordPress comment author name, Google scans the site, finds on the super comments pages created by me include my name “by David Law” and link them to my Google Plus profile even though there’s no meta tag (cool feature).
Google usually doesn’t link other author comments, but Google isn’t perfect… Hmm, wonder if others could link their Google+ profiles to my site and ‘claim’ their comments?
Link Google+ Profile to Your WordPress blog
Now we’ve linked your WordPress site to your Google Plus profile, next we have to link your Google+ profile to your WordPress blog.
Log in to your Google Plus account and Hoverover the “Profile” link on the left and click “Profile” on the dropdown menu.
Click the Google Plus “About” Link to edit your Google+ profile:
Scroll to the Links section and click the “Edit” link at the bottom:
We are almost there, honest :-)
Adding Google+ Contributor Links
Under “Contributor to” click the “Add custom link”:
Add your website name and URL and click the “Save” button:
And you have linked a site to your Google+ profile, yeah :-)
That’s it, should work after Google respiders your site etc…
Don’t forget on your Google+ profile to add an image of yourself, the authorship feature is meant to link your articles to you, if you don’t add a photo of you or add a photo of something else Google might not add the Google plus image to your search results.
Checking a Google Profile Author Link is Verified
Takes Google time to link your Google profile with your site SERPs, so could be a while before your Google Plus photo shows on SERPs, to check everything is setup correctly go to Google Webmaster Tools Rich Snippets Testing Tool and enter any URL from the domain (home page for example) and the results will tell you if the site is verified, see example in the image below:
Note: if you are running a WordPress cache plugin be sure to clear the cache first, the Rich Snippets Tool could be looking at a old cached copy of your site that will lack the Google authorship rel=”author” meta tag.
Click the image above, if your Google Rich Snippets results looks like the image it’s setup correctly.
There you go, a very simple way :-) to have your Google Profile linked to your search results. All you have to do now is wait for Google to re-index your site and add the data to it’s search results (no idea how long this takes).