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How to Set Up Google Authorship on a WordPress.com Blog

June 2, 2013

If you have used Google recently, you’ve probably seen enhanced listings appearing in your search results. These so-called “rich snippets” are the result of a new SEO ranking factor called Google Authorship.

Rich snippet 1It’s easy to see that having this type of verified result for your blog post makes it more likely that people will click on your search engine result listing. These rich snippets are also a great way to help build your personal – and company brand. In addition, many industry experts believe that Google Authorship will become the centerpiece of SEO when Google implements Author Rank.

How to Set Up Google Authorship in Three Easy Steps
Google Authorship is simple to set up on a self-hosted blog (where you can add the rel=author tag to the source code of your page). But, it’s a bit more complicated if you host your blog for free on WordPress.com. After months of reading about (and trying to figure out) how to implement Google Authorship on my WordPress.com blog, I found a simple three-step process to get it done.

Step 1: Add a Byline to All of Your Blog Posts
To set up Google Authorship, each post you publish on your blog must have a byline that identifies you as the author (i.e., By Eileen O’Connor). While this may seem obvious, many free WordPress.com Themes require that you have at least two authors on your blog before bylines will appear (as my Theme did).

Step 2: Add a Text Widget to Your WordPress.com Blog
To add Google Authorship to your blog, you need to add the rel=author tag as a Text Widget. To do this:

  1. Go to your WordPress.com Dashboard.
  2. Select: Appearance > Widget.
  3. Add a Text widget with the following code to create the rel=author tag:  <a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Follow us on Google+</a>, where [profile_url] is the URL of your Google+ page.

Step 3: Add a Reciprocal Link on Your Google+ Personal Profile
To enable Google Authorship, you also need to link your personal Google+ profile to your blog.  To do this:

  1. Log in to your personal Google+ page.
  2. Go to the About section of your profile, scroll down to the Links section, and click Edit.
  3. In the dialog box that appears, update the Contributor To section by typing the name of your blog (Label) and pasting the URL of your blog.
  4. Click Save.

After you’ve completed the above steps, confirm that Google Authorship is working on your blog:

  1. Visit the Google structured data testing tool.
  2. Enter your blog’s URL.
  3. Click Preview. If authorship is working, you’ll see your photo and name in the Preview:

Google Authorship

If these steps worked for you – or if you’ve found an easier way to set up Google Authorship – please leave a comment below to let us know!

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51 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2013 12:28 pm

    Reblogged this on The Muses Guild:2014.

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      July 5, 2013 3:36 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing it Victoria … hope it’s helpful! :)

  2. August 17, 2013 11:56 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. And this post was really informative. All the best to you.

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      August 18, 2013 2:39 pm

      Thanks Victor!

  3. August 18, 2013 8:58 am

    I don’t know why, but it doesn’t work. Is it the problem come from my photo (it’s not full face, as you at gravatar) ?

  4. September 13, 2013 3:12 pm

    Thank you for offering helpful tips that will increase the impact of our blogs. I am also grateful that you chose to become a follower of my blog. I trust you find the posts meaningful and encouraging.

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      September 15, 2013 11:24 am

      Thanks Nancy! Setting up Google Authorship has helped some posts on this blog appear on page 1 of Google search results within a few days, so it is definitely worth the effort.

  5. Oscar Risch - MauOscar Blog de Viagens permalink
    September 15, 2013 9:52 pm

    I don’t know if i did something wrong but it doesnt seem to be working for me :S

  6. September 16, 2013 10:22 pm

    Thanks for the useful information (and for taking an interest in my blog.). :-) All the best to you, Eileen. :-)

    ~Imelda

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      September 18, 2013 8:14 pm

      Thanks Imelda … hope this information is helpful. All the best to you too!

  7. September 23, 2013 4:54 pm

    Great “how-to” post!

    How long does it take for Google to show the Authorship image?

    I see this when I do the preview but I don’t see anything when I Google my site.

    (I only started this today).

    Thoughts?

    Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you.

    Mark

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      September 23, 2013 8:14 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Mark!

      In my experience it takes 3-4 days for a new post to show the Authorship image and rich snippet text; however since I wrote this blog post Google+ added automatic authorship markup for users of WordPress.com (this happened about a week ago, see http://googleplusplatform.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/google-attribution-and-embedded-posts.html for more info).

      So, I’d suggest Googling one of your older blog posts (that’s been online for a few weeks) and hopefully you’ll see the Authorship markup now.

      Let me know if you need any more information.

      Eileen

      • Mike Poynton permalink
        October 5, 2013 11:54 am

        Hi, Eileen: Nice post. I’ve implemented the ?rel=author tag and the new WordPress.com functionality recently launched by them, as described at http://bit.ly/1fOtsn1. I’ve tested my site using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool at http://bit.ly/1fOsCGS. The tool indicates that authorship and publisher markup are both working. But I don’t see my rich snippets coming up for my wordpress.com site when I search. Only sites I’ve guest-blogged for that use the ?rel=author tag. I’ve been using ?rel=author on the site for months. I recently enabled linking via my theme’s settings about 2 weeks ago. Still, nothing. Any ideas here? I’ve posted at WordPress.com support forums and all is quiet. Kinda driving me nuts being that social media is my biz.

        • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
          October 5, 2013 3:27 pm

          Hi Mike, thanks for your comment! I know how frustrating this can be. Here’s what I did to my WordPress.com blog that (finally) got it working:

          1. Add a Text Widget to your blog’s sidebar (so it will appear on every page of your blog).

          2. View the source code of my blog, and search for the text “Connect with me on: Google+” then copy the HTML code and paste it into your blog’s widget (just be sure to change the URL of my Google+ page to the URL of your Google+ personal page).

          Hope this works for you!

          Eileen

          • Mike Poynton permalink
            October 6, 2013 6:16 pm

            TY, Eileen. I’ll try.

            • October 6, 2013 7:29 pm

              You’re welcome Mike! Let me know if this works for you.

              • Mike Poynton permalink
                October 6, 2013 7:40 pm

                I’m also getting missing required field errors using the Structured Data Testing Tool. This has been typical for over 6 months now and might be why my rich snippets aren’t showing up in “real” Google Search for blog posts on my blog. I found a WordPress.com support forum topic on this and have posted. I’ll let you know what transpires, if anything.

                • October 7, 2013 8:18 pm

                  Let me know how it goes Mike. If you want to give me your URL, I’ll take a look at it in the Tool and see if I might know how to fix the errors.

                  • Mike Poynton permalink
                    October 7, 2013 8:24 pm

                    Have at it.paradisesocial.wordpress.com. A lot of others are having the same experience as I’ve found out in a couple of Authorship/AuthorRank G+ communities I belong to. Any help would be appreciated. You’re wonderful!!!!

                    • October 7, 2013 8:59 pm

                      Hi Mike, it looks like you’re missing the link on your personal G+ page (Public contributor-to link from Google+ profile to it.paradisesocial.wordpress.com: No).

                      To add it, go to your personal Google+ page, click “About” in the top navigation, then scroll down to “Links” and click the “Edit” option at the very bottom.

                      Once the editor opens, go to the “Contributor to” section, and click “Add Custom Link.” Fill in the Label and URL information, then click “Save.” Test it again in the Tool and hopefully it will be working for your site!

                      Eileen :)

                    • Mike Poynton permalink
                      October 8, 2013 10:16 am

                      Thanks, Eileen. I added it and the tool confirms (Public contributor-to link from Google+ profile to paradisesocial.wordpress.com: Yes). I’ll wait a week and see if anything changes in Search. I’m still getting errors.

                      YOU have been WONDERFUL!! Would you like to guest blog for me?

                    • October 8, 2013 11:13 pm

                      I’m so glad it worked Mike! Just Googled your latest blog post and saw your photo and rich snippet (by Mike Poynton – in 12,162 Google+ circles)!

                      Thanks for the guest blog offer, I’m swamped right now but will let you know.

                      Eileen :)

  8. September 27, 2013 10:21 am

    Just what i was looking for! Awesome info, thank you Eileen! :)

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      September 28, 2013 3:33 pm

      You’re welcome!

  9. October 16, 2013 12:55 pm

    Thanks for this! I was searching high and low and couldn’t find a solution.

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      October 17, 2013 7:18 pm

      You’re welcome Damon, hope this method worked for you!

  10. October 25, 2013 12:32 pm

    THANK YOU! This was driving me nuts!

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      October 26, 2013 4:48 pm

      You’re welcome Annie, glad it worked for you!

  11. Soumya Vinod permalink
    November 19, 2013 1:33 pm

    Cool got it working, only bit of concern is that I don’t want to publish the google+ profile, rather I have a google+ page for the business on wordpress.com blog.

    Is there any way to hide the google+ profile on the wordpress.com blog, I tried moving to inactive widget however the authorship pic will stop.

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      November 23, 2013 3:04 pm

      Great question! Unfortunately, Google Authorship is only for individuals (not companies), so you do have to use your own name and photo to get the benefits.

  12. Justin Cener permalink
    December 5, 2013 1:08 pm

    This is absolutely awesome – thanks so much!

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      December 5, 2013 8:20 pm

      You’re welcome Justin, glad it was helpful!

  13. January 22, 2014 2:49 pm

    Yeah, got it to work! Thanks Eileen.

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      January 25, 2014 7:02 pm

      You’re welcome Amanda … glad this post was helpful!

  14. March 6, 2014 7:51 am

    Hi Eileen. Thanks for the tips. I’ve tried your method without success. Can you tell me if the structured data testing tool should work instantly and show my Google+ image?

    You can see my blog: porcelainsuperstore.wordpress.com and my google+ page at https://plus.google.com/107888156895295418401/about

    Any help would be much appreciated. tearing my hair out!

    Thanks

    Ben

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      March 6, 2014 8:34 pm

      Hi Ben,

      I put your URL in the Structured Data Tool, and you’ll want to scroll down to the “Extracted structured data” section and read the error. I’m guessing that it may be the URL you used on your Google+ page … I would edit the URL there to include only the domain of your website http://porcelainsuperstore.wordpress.com (without /author/porcelainsuperstore/ at the end of the URL). Hope this will work. :)

      Eileen

  15. March 20, 2014 10:56 pm

    Hi Eileen,

    Thank you for the tips here. I have added Google Authorship before, but never on a wordpress.com site. I tried using your widget code, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me. Any advice?

    The structured data tool tells me that pretty much nothing is correct. This is confusing because it even says that my site is not linked to my Google+ profile when it clearly is (profile is here: https://www.google.com/+NateTowerwrites

    Here is my URL: http://nathanieltower.wordpress.com

    Thank you for any help you can give!

    Nate

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      March 23, 2014 3:20 pm

      Hi Nate,

      At first glance, it looks like there are a couple of HTML code errors in your widget. Try deleting the bracket ] at the end of your Google+ page URL and the extra at the end of the code (right before the > that closes the HTML code). Hopefully this will get it working for you. Please let me know how it goes!

      Eileen

      • March 23, 2014 7:04 pm

        Eileen, thank you for the reply. I made the adjustments to the code, but it still isn’t showing up as verified. Any ideas?

        Thanks,
        Nate

  16. March 31, 2014 7:21 am

    People like yourself that take time to give helpful instructions are appreciated. Thanks visit my blog.

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      April 6, 2014 7:07 pm

      Thanks Carl … will do!

  17. April 15, 2014 11:46 am

    EXACTLY what I needed:D Thank you so much!

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      April 26, 2014 3:45 pm

      You’re welcome … glad it was helpful!

  18. May 20, 2014 9:08 pm

    Thanks so much for your help, after hours of reading finally I have a solution that works!! Just to confirm I can write the words “By Feast Wisely” anywhere in the blog post?

    • Eileen O'Connor permalink*
      May 24, 2014 2:19 pm

      You’re welcome! I would recommend putting those words at the top of the page (as a byline), but have seen Authorship work on even non-blog post web pages if the author’s full name preceded by the word By appears anywhere on the page.

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