Google Authorship is a way to put a face to your content in Google’s search results. It’s a very powerful search engine optimization (SEO) tool — people’s eyes are attracted to visual content, and having a face next to a piece of content not only makes the listing more enticing, but it lends more authority to the content.
It also provide the searcher with additional information right in the search results. Besides the page title, URL, date published, and thumbnail from your Google+ profile, it also shows how many people have you in their Google+ circles (if it’s over a certain number). There’s also a link to more articles by you.
Once you claim authorship on your content, this is what a listing for one of your blog posts would look like:
Here’s how to claim your Google Authorship so that your thumbnail appears next to all of your blog posts — those you publish to your own blog, as well as your guest blog posts.
I. How to claim your own blog posts
1. Use a headshot for your Google+ profile
If you haven’t already created a Google+ profile, you can easily do so here. Then you should upload a picture of yourself as your profile photo. You should choose a professional-looking and friendly photo. This will not only make your listing look more authoritative, but will make people interested in what you, as a person, have to say.
2. Include your name in your blog post bylines
By default, most blogging platforms will automatically display the author name in each blog post byline. Double check your blog posts and make sure this is the case for your blog. Also, this name should match your name on your Google+ profile.
3. Make sure you have an email address on the same domain as your content
In order for Google to match your Google+ profile with your blog, you should have an email address on the domain of your blog (for example, email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org). If you don’t already have an email address on your domain, you can set this up with your hosting provider, such as HostGator.
4. Submit your email address on the Google+ Authorship page
Visit the Google Authorship page. On this page, enter your domain email address.
II. How to claim your guest blog posts
If you’re guest blogging on another blog, you probably won’t have an email address on that domain. Here’s what to do instead:
1. Create a link in your blog post to your Google+ profile
Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:
Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:
<a href="https://plus.google.com/108127381396804605623/posts? rel=author">Google</a>
2. Add a link to your Google+ profile to the blog you’re guest posting on
Edit the Contributor To section of your Google+ profile. Click Add custom link and then add the URL of the blog you’re guest blogging for (not the URL of your individual blog post).
III. Test to see what you Google Authorship will look like
To make sure that your author profile will appear next to your blog posts, use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Enter the URL of one of your blog posts. Then in the Author section, you’ll be able to see if your author name has been successfully extracted from the blog post. To verify this, enter your Google+ URL and then click Verify Authorship.