What the heck is Google authorship, and why should you care? Essentially, Google authorship is when Google displays author information in its search results. So, when someone enters a keyword into Google, not only does Google return relevant articles, but it also displays the authors’ bylines alongside the the articles. But this only happens if the publishing sites — and the authors — do a few things to optimize the content for Google authorship.
Why Should I Care About Google Authorship?
Having a real person’s name in the search results may lead to higher click-through rates. And if you’re someone whom Google deems an authority, your articles may show up higher in search results. So if you’re trying to build your brand via blogging — on your own site or through guest blogging — you may benefit from establishing Google authorship.
How Do I Set it Up?
It’s pretty easy to optimize your content for Google authorship. Here’s what you need to do:
- Set up a Google+ profile. This should be an individual profile, not a Google+ page for your business. Make sure your name is consistent across blog bylines and your Google+ account (e.g., don’t go by Charles in one place and Chuck in another).
- Make sure your blog is configured to display author bylines (e.g., “by Emma Wilhelm”) on all posts. The Mad Mimi blog uses two WordPress plugins to do this: Google Author Link and Byline, which is especially useful if your blog has lots of authors. For Google Author link, you’ll need to enter URLs for all authors’ Google+ profiles.
- Link your content to your Google+ account in one of two ways:
- If all of your articles are on one domain AND you have an email address at that domain, you can simply submit your email address to Google.
- If you have articles on multiple domains or you don’t have an email address at the domain on which you publish, you can edit your Google+ profile:
- Log into Google, go to Google+, and click on your profile pic at the top right.
- Click “View Profile.” Then click “About.” Scroll down to the “Links” section. Click “Edit” at the bottom of the section.
- In the “Contributor to” section, add the URL of each blog where you’ve published content.
That’s all there is to it! Once you have everything set up, it may take a few days for your bylines to appear in Google search results (and there’s no guarantee that they will every time). But congratulations, savvy blogger! Your content is now well positioned to be discovered, enjoyed, and shared.