Setting Up Google Authorship Through Google+

Step One: Verify Your Email Address on Google+

First, Google needs to make sure that you are the owner of your e-mail address. To complete this step you will need to have a Google+ profile set up. If you don't have a Google+ profile yet, go set one up - it needs to be a personal profile, NOT a business page. 

Profile Photo:  Make sure you're using a recognizable headshot as your profile photo. It has to be your face in a passport style photo since Google Authorship is a personal experience between a reader and a publisher.  You can not use your dealership logo;

Once your Google+ Profile is set up and complete, there are several options on how you can set up Authorship.

Option 1: Single Author with no "About Me" page

If only one person will be publishing blogs for the website and there is no "About Me" page for the person writing the blogs, Google Authorship is easy to set up.

Within the section of the website's page template, add the following piece of code:

<link href=”http://plus.google.com/123456789012345678901/” rel=”author” />

Substitute your own Google+ profile URL into the 'href' attribute - or change the long number to match your Google+ profile ID which can be found in the URL of your Google+ page.

Option 2: Several Authors with no "About Me" pages

If you have more than one person writing and publishing blogs, you can't use the header code option; instead you'll need to include a linked byline naming the author on each individual posted article

You can do this within your site template, or by manually pasting at the top or bottom of the article text, as long as the name is linked to the author's Google+ profile.

The code is basically the same, but rather than appearing as a 'link' element in your page header, it appears as a visible hyperlink on your article page:

<a href="http://plus.google.com/123456789012345678901/" rel="author">Author Name</a>

Again, substitute the appropriate Google+ profile ID for the long number in the link URL, and make sure to include the 'rel=author' parameter to highlight that this is the author's name

Option 3: Individual Authors with "About Me" pages

If individual authors have their own profile on your website, you should link to their profile instead of to their Google+ account.

Use the same notation as above, but change the 'href' attribute to point to the 'about the author' page:

<a href="http://www.yourwebsite.com/about-author-name" rel="author">Author Name</a>

From the individual author's 'about' page, you should then add a link to their Google+ profile, this time adding 'rel="me" where you would normally add 'rel="author".

<a href="http://plus.google.com/123456789012345678901/" rel="me">Find Author Name on Google+</a>

This is the most complicated method, but also the most powerful. You can also use this method if you are the only contributor to your website or blog, but still want to link to a profile page you have direct control over.

Step Two: Link Back to your Google+ Profile

Whichever option you use, you must then link back to your website from your Google+ profile.  To do this, add a text link to your website or blog homepage in the 'Contributor To' section of your Google+ profile.

On the right side of the 'About' page of your Google+ profile, there is a place to add 'Contributor To' links - link to your content from here.

  • If you have a bio page on your blog, link to this bio.
  • If you don't have a bio page, link directly to the post itself.

Step Three: Confirm that Authorship is working correctly

Once Google Authorship is set up, use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to test that is is working correctly

http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

This test will help you identify any problems with the way you have set up the code on your page.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Be patient. It can take several weeks for your Authorship information to begin appearing in search results, so don't worry if it is taking some time - just keep posting articles in the meantime.
  • If you want to jump start your Authorship profile, go back to the articles posted by you over the past few months and have each article link to your Google+ profile.