How to Set Up Google Authorship on a WordPress.com Blog
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.
It’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:
- Go to your WordPress.com Dashboard.
- Select: Appearance > Widget.
- 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:
- Log in to your personal Google+ page.
- Go to the About section of your profile, scroll down to the Links section, and click Edit.
- 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.
- Click Save.
After you’ve completed the above steps, confirm that Google Authorship is working on your blog:
- Visit the Google structured data testing tool.
- Enter your blog’s URL.
- Click Preview. If authorship is working, you’ll see your photo and name in the Preview:
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!