5 Easy Steps to Verified Authorship for a WordPress Blog

You may have noticed that some search results have a picture of the author next to the link. Ever wondered what that was? Me too. Turns out that it’s called Google Verified Authorship, it takes five minutes to set up and it can increase the number of visits by up to 400% (apparently).

So what are you waiting for? Here’s five easy steps to get your pretty face next to your links and get the people clicking on it.

1. Set up a Google+ profile.

Whether or not a presence on Google+ is worthwhile at this stage is a topic for a whole other post, but a Google+ profile is essential to this process. (For bonus points, find and add my Google+ profile!)

2. Add your website to the Contributor To section

This points your Google+ profile towards your website. This section is right at the bottom of your profile when you click “edit”.

3. Make sure your +1s are public.

The process won’t work without this step. I don’t know why.

4. Insert the following into your header.php file

This code will point your site to your Google+ profile and complete the online handshake, as it were. Find the “head” section of your header.php file and insert the following code:

link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/112830526540548509787/posts”/

The link is the link to your Google+ profile, so be sure to substitute it with your own link. Be sure to place a < at the beginning of the line and an > at the end too!

5. Use Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool to see if it worked

It won’t work straight away – Google will have to re-crawl your site – but this tool can tell you immediately if everything has been set up correctly.

Now make yourself a margarita, you’re all done! Was that nice and easy or what? Leave me a comment and let me know.

9 thoughts on “5 Easy Steps to Verified Authorship for a WordPress Blog

  1. mlatimerridley

    Thanks for this James, we’re always picking up cool tips from you! Though I don’t think I was able to implement this trick this time round, I got stumped at accessing the header.php file (I’ll admit it takes me three times as long as a normal person to work out these sorts of things. I was so much better back in the day, when knowing these made something into italics, was impressive!!) I still haven’t been able to access it, I think we need to pay to upgrade to a custom design to do it, I could be wrong (more than likely)!

    1. mlatimerridley

      ‘when knowing these’ -had the triangular brackets with ‘i’ in them, after it. But of course they’re gone. As they should be. *sigh* I’m so blonde sometimes it hurts. :D

      1. James

        Lol, I did wonder what you meant! And you’re welcome for the tip. I figure once I’ve done the hard work of figuring it out it’s only fair that I share the secret with the world! I’m not sure you should have to pay to edit your header.php file as it’s a standard WordPress file. Unless you guys are using WordPress.com rather than WordPress.org?

        1. mlatimerridley

          Aye, that’s it! We’re WordPress.com, honestly I never realised there was a WordPress.org! I just looked up the difference and it does state with WordPress.com we can’t modify the PHP code behind our blog. Well that clears that up!
          Still a great tip, even if we can’t use it! :D

          1. James

            Ah that makes sense. Sorry, I thought you were on WordPress.org. I had a dig and you might still be able to do it using your email address instead. Try this:

            • Edit your Google+ profile and add your email address under “work email”. This has to be the same address you use for WordPress.
            • Create a new sidebar text widget and past your Google+ profile link into it.
            • Under Appearance>Theme Options you should be able to input HTML into the banner? If you can, put an HTML link to your email address (the HTML is (a href=”mailto:mlatimerridleysemail@kooky.com”)Email(/a) except with the pointy brackets; don’t know what the proper name is for them!)

            You can then use the Rich Snippets tool to see if it worked. Let me know if it does!

  2. mlatimerridley

    Seriously James, thanks you for looking into this for us!! Really appreciate it!
    What I ended up doing-I added our email address to the ‘work email’ section and our website address to the Contributor section. I got a Google + badge, just in case I needed it as a link from our website to our Google profile.
    I used this HTML:
    (a href=”[google plus profile url including our number]?rel=author”)Google(/a)
    Though with the triangle brackets instead of the round ones (I also haven’t a clue what they’re called!)
    I tried to add the HTML into the banner, but WordPress.com wouldn’t let me. So I tried putting the HTML in a text widget instead (figured it couldn’t hurt!) a little red Google popped up when I did this, so I hide it under our ‘Cloud of Words’ so it’s not noticeable. Went over to the Rich Snippets tool & it seems to have worked, we’re verified!
    Hopefully what I did was ok!
    Thanks so much again for helping us out with this! :D

  3. Elizabeth Barone

    You share some really useful stuff here! :D

    I already had my main website on my G+ profile but somehow forgot to add the others. I didn’t add anything to header.php, though. I wonder if it’s because I already have my Google Analytics code in there? Either way, cool trick. Thanks for passing it on.

    1. James

      You’re welcome! I do try to be useful. Interesting that the header thing wasn’t necessary for you. Do you have a link to your Google+ profile on your site? I’ve heard that might be enough.


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