Google Authorship: Want to See Your Photo in Google Search Results? Here’s How!
If you spend any time at all on Google (and these days, who doesn’t?) it won’t have escaped your attention that smiling author photos have started appearing alongside certain entries in the search results pages.
Quite naturally, you might have wondered how they got there:
• Are they only displayed for members of an elite group of power users?
• Is it a special feature available Google employees only?
• Are they one of the perks of some kind of new “Google Pro” paid upgrade?
In fact, this feature is available to anyone who publishes online and it relies on a relatively new Google technology called Google Authorship.
In a nutshell, Google Authorship allows any writer to “stamp” their online content with a digital identity which links it back to them, establishing them as the author.
Next time Google’s search robots come to index the content they will be able to detect this “authorship” information, letting Google Search display additional information when the content appears in any search results pages, including their photo.
There’s a little setup required behind the scenes and the whole system is based on Google+ – Google’s answer to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – so you’ll need a Google+ account. But for anyone looking to build their authority and reputation online it’s a must.
Intuitively though it makes perfect sense to treat authors differently because some people are simply more trusted and have more authority online than others. You’d expect content written by a trusted expert to appear higher on average in Google’s search results than content written by someone with little or no track record, right?
How Google will determine in practice that one author is more trusted and knowledgeable on a particular topic than another is currently a matter of enthusiastic debate. However SEO experts believe that various signals are likely to be taken into account, including the number of social shares and backlinks relating to the author’s content together with some measure of the author’s authority within the Google+ network.
To find out more about Google Authorship, why it’s so important and how to get it working on your website or blog, check out his guide Google Authorship: The Complete Handbook to Getting Respect, Readers and Rankings.
About the Author: Glen Long is a writer, blogging aficionado and managing editor of BoostBlogTraffic.com, which helps bloggers get the traffic they deserve. He lives in London, is dangerously addicted to subtitled Scandinavian crime drama and he’d love to connect with you on Google+ or Twitter.