Google Authorship has been around for a number of years now, but only recently it has been gaining popularity amongst publishers world-wide, more so because you can now actually have your content and profile linked to the Google Search results.
If you do a search for someone famous that has a unique name, such as the Physicist Lawrence M. Krauss you will notice a bevy of information captured on right side of search results.
You will be happy to know that if you are running your online business on the WordPress Platform then you are already half way there, but this is not enough, you must spend some time to do some serious housekeeping.
If you are serious about your online business and you are not setup correctly, well then you will be left behind and this is no small matter Google are continue to redefine what you need to do in relation to SEO and moving well away from traditional SEO to a more verified SEO system.
Here are some of the most important steps you need to take to ensure you have everything in place for success:
Google+ Profile Setup
If you have a Gmail Account (standard or Google Premium Account) you should already be setup, but you will need to make sure you have your about page in order. Firstly make sure you are logged into your Google Account (Gmail) and then go to this address: http://plus.google.com
If you profile needs setting up then Google should walk you through this process, you can also skip some steps until later and choose what information you want to be public or private. Remember private today means that the information maybe private to the public but like any large online entity Google still stores it.
The important thing is to setup as much information as possible and include good quality photography for your header and profile picture as this will appear in search results representing you.
To me aside from general profile information the next most important area you need to complete is the “Contributor to” area. List not only all the websites you publish to but also any profiles you may have on these websites. This may include all of your own websites and also any other website you have contributed to, this is an important distinction.
Verify your Email Addresses
When you add email addresses to your Profile page on Google Plus you will be asked to verify these. Google will send a verification email, make sure you verify all email addresses under your account.
The rel=author Tag
I suggest you use WordPress SEO by Yoast as this will work out of the box and include the rel=author tag by default for any content you create under your profile. You do not need to really do anything with SEO by Yoast but if you want to advance your features here is a great little tutorial on setting up WordPress SEO by Yoast correctly.
Your WordPress User Profile
Once you have setup SEO by Yoast correctly, then head to your User Profile in WordPress, you will notice you can add your Google Plus Profile URL, it should look something like this https://plus.google.com/u/0/117489371829741156604/ and you can also add your Twitter Username and Facebook Page. Make sure you complete your profile as best you can in WordPress and that is should be consistent across the board.
Register for Google Authorship
Google will want you to make sure your account is in order, so register for Google Authorship with your email address. Simply go here, read the brief introduction and verify your account.
Testing the Results
I suggest doing this the following day or at least a few hours after you have everything setup. Once you think you have most of your information in order, Google provides a few testing tools. Again make sure you are logged into your Google Account (Gmail) and go here and test the results of your labor.
Google will give you tips and advice after you submit on what you need to do. Below I have listed some handy tips
- Register for Google Authorship.
- Make sure your Name Matches across all Profiles exactly (Google+, WordPress Display Name).
- Make sure your Google Plus Contributor to Page is Complete.
- Verify your Authorship Markup.
- Show your Full Face in Profile Pictures (Google Scans for Matches).
- Make sure you have ‘By’ Publicly listed on your WordPress Posts