How to Set Up Google Authorship in WordPress in 3 Simple Steps

How to Set Up Google Authorship in WordPress

Google Authorship is a phenomenal project by the search engine giant to enable content creators to make a verified connection between their original content anywhere on the Internet and their Google+ profiles.

By setting up Google Authorship, authors may have their profile photo and an Authorship Rich Snippet displayed in search results. In addition, the author’s Google+ circle count, a linked byline that leads to the author’s profile and a link to “More by” to that author’s related content – all may be included with the snippet. In this article, I will cover why it is important to set up Google Authorship and include a visual tutorial how you can accomplish setting up Google Authorship in your WordPress website or blog with your Google Plus profile. Here is an example of a verified Google Plus author’s Authorship rich snippet in Google’s search results:

Authorship rich snippet example in Google’s search result

Why Set Up Google Authorship?

There are a number of benefits to setting up Google Authorship. Besides having your personal profile and Authorship rich snippet showing in Google’s search results, the benefits include:

  • Determines Authority
    Similar to your driver’s license number, your Google+ ID is your digital number that validates your content to Google as the original author. This digital number will follow you wherever you go on the web providing you link your content to your Google+ profile.
  • Helps to Fight Plagiarism
    With Google Authorship, Google will identify your content on the Internet as your content and will serve it before content scrappers.
  • Higher Click Through Rate
    Your Google profile photo will attract more attention in the search engine results that may lead to a higher click through rate.

What You Need to Set Up Google Authorship in WordPress

For this “recipe”, you will need the following:

  1. A Google Plus personal profile with a recognizable profile photo
  2. WordPress website or blog
  3. One of the following plugins:

3 Simple Steps to Set Up Google Authorship in WordPress

Step One: Google+ – Add your Contributor to Link

  • Log into your Google+ profile page.
  • Navigate to your “About” section and scroll down to the Links section.
  • At the bottom of the “Links” section, click the edit link near the bottom.
  • Locate the “Contributor to” section and click the link, “Add custom link”.
  • In Label – enter your website’s name
  • In URL – enter the URL to your website or blog.

Google+ Add your contributor link

Step Two: WordPress – Add your Google+ Profile Link

  • Log into your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Select Users in the left column and click “Your Profile”.
  • Scroll down and locate “Contact Info”
  • Under Contact Info, locate the “Google+” text box and enter your Google+ URL link and click “Update Profile” on the bottom. You can find this link in the address bar on your Google Plus page. It will look similar to: https://plus.google.com/107299943378335161481/

How to add your G+ link to wordPress

Step Three: Verify Your Google Plus Authorship Link

Google provides the Structured Data Testing Tool to validate that you have successfully linked your Google Plus profile to your WordPress website or blog.

  • Navigate to: Structured Data Testing Tool
  • Enter the URL or address to verify and click “Preview”.
  • The tool will show you if you have properly linked your Google Plus profile to your WordPress blog.
  • Note: The snippet of excerpt results will vary depending on the search terms used to find the page.

How to verify your Google Plus Authorship link

Take Away

This is one way or one “recipe” to set up Google Authorship in WordPress. There are other ways to set up Google Authorship in WordPress including plugins, however, I have not personally tested them. You can also add the following rel=”author” code to your Biographical Info in your WordPress Profile or add it by including it as a text widget:
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/your-google-plus-digits?rel=author”>Your Name</a>

There are two important things to remember:

  • It may take some time for Google to show your profile photo and rich snippets in search results.
  • Google does not guarantee that it will include your profile photo and rich snippets in results.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Have you set up Google Authorship on your WordPress website or blog yet?

For more information about Google Authorship, please see:

 

Robin Strohmaier

Robin Strohmaier

Lead web designer and owner at R & R Web Design LLC
Fascinated with the growing potential and power of the Internet, Robin founded R & R Web Design LLC in the Chicago area in 2000. As creative director, she is passionate about helping others reach their Internet objectives through a strategic online presence with results driven custom web design, ethical SEO and marketing.
Robin Strohmaier
Robin Strohmaier
Robin Strohmaier

Fascinated with the growing potential and power of the Internet, Robin founded R & R Web Design LLC in the Chicago area in 2000. As creative director, she is passionate about helping others reach their Internet objectives through a strategic online presence with results driven custom web design, ethical SEO and marketing.

This article was published on: April 19, 2013 and was last modified August 12, 2014
Posted in Google Plus, Tutorials
109 comments on “How to Set Up Google Authorship in WordPress in 3 Simple Steps
  1. Caroline says:

    Robin – we’ve had verified Google Authorship for about a year. There are 2 of us that contribute on our Blog.
    One thing that I notice is that neither of us have a link at the top of the post stating our name (is that what you mean by the byline?).
    Also we don’t use a plugin for SEO as it’s built into the Theme.

    Any tips on the above always gratefully received.
    PS.I don’t think we’ve had ‘more by’ on the Google SERPS results, but I can’t be sure.

    • Caroline,
      Yes, when I referred to the byline, I was referring to the linked “By Your Name” on the page. On this page, it is under the page title. Do you know if the original theme had the byline on the post pages?

      You might also like to try the following plugins to help you accomplish linking to your Google+ Profile:

      1. Google Plus Authorship plugin at: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-plus-authorship/
      2. Fanciest Author Box for multiple WordPress blog authors at: http://fanciestauthorbox.com/ for $10.00.
        This plugin will allow you to show the author’s information in an “author box” similar to the author box you see beneath my article above. Each author will need to fill out the contact information under: Users > Personal Options > Contact Information and Google Plus profile information. You may also like to include your other social media URLs.

      If you do try this method, Carolyn, please let me know how it goes.

      • Thanks for the info about the author box, I like it and $10 is not a bad price. I have done the authorship process on one of my sites which is on WordPress and when I search on Google it shows my picture but when I run the testing tool it says authorship is not working.

        • Karla, you are very welcome. The author box is a great way to include Google Authorship for multiple authors. Were you able to determine why the Structured Data Testing Tool’s results stated it wasn’t working?

  2. MarVeena says:

    Thanks for the great article! I just love my little google box and the end of my posts!

  3. Thank you, Robin. Your instructions are so clear! I must do this. It’s been on my “to do” list for a couple of weeks. I appreciate the reminder. :)

  4. Thank you for this information. I’m looking into it.

  5. Angela says:

    Great article. I just wish I would have had all the awesome info about 2 months ago!!!! THANKS

  6. Great information on how and why to set up a Google authorship in WordPress. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks for sharing this step by step guide. I just tried to set mine up although it didn’t work yet. I will give the Database some time to refresh. Thanks for making something simple

  8. Anita says:

    Great post! I just hired a gal last week to do this for me :)

  9. MamaRed says:

    Hi Robin…I’m doing my darndest to follow your recipe and I’m sure I’m missing something and I’m not seeing the “links” section you mention. This is too funny because I’m normally pretty good at getting this stuff set up, especially with such great instructions! Each time I try to get Google Authorship set up I run into a roadblock. Hummmmmmmmm. Wonder what’s up with that!

  10. MamaRed says:

    P.S. I haven’t added any more plugins to my WordPress site ‘cuz I’ve got a bunch, so not sure what to do next. Thanks for all your help! Still a Google + Virgin at the moment.

  11. This looks very interesting and I was about to try to set it up, but I have wordpress.com. Can you only set this up with a plug in for wordpress.org?

    • Daniele, unfortunately, free WordPress.com sites cannot add plugins. You can, however, add the code to a widget area. For example, you can add the following in a sidebar or footer widget:

      • Log into your WP dashboard and go to Appearances > Widgets
      • Locate and drag “Text” from to a Widget section on the right column.
      • In the Text box under “Title”, enter the Google Authorship code – example:
      • Click save

      If you do get the chance to try this, please let me know how it goes.

  12. Shari says:

    Love the step-by-step instructions. We will get this done in May. Thank you!

  13. I remember putting the Google Authorship info on my blogs when it first came out, but I’ve redesigned all my sites since then and haven’t put it back on. Thanks for this reminder and the easy way to get it done.

  14. Robin – these were easy-to-follow and so very helpful! Thank you!! Lisa

  15. Susan Myers says:

    GREAT tutorial Robin! Thanks for all the details.

  16. I’m remiss in not having done this yet; thanks for the clear instructions, Robin!

  17. Hi Robin, Thanks for another great post that will help a lot of people. I have not done this yet, but must add it to my to do list. Thank you.

    Kind regards

    John.

    • Hi John, Thank you for taking the time to read this article and for commenting. I’m glad that you have found it helpful. Please let me know when you do have Google Authorship set up and how it goes.

  18. Ken J. says:

    This didn’t work for me as the structured tool keeps telling me my author isn’t in the by line of the web page when in fact he’s all over several blog posts. any ideas?

  19. Hi Robin,

    Your info is great and I wouldn’t have figured out how to do this otherwise, but I don’t have a Google+ text box on my WordPress profile page. Is there a reason why this might be? Is there a “substitute” box?

    HELP!

    Thanks!

    Teresa

  20. Hi Teresa,
    I will be happy to help. If you are not using either of the plugins, WordPress SEO by Yoast or All in One SEO Pack, you will not see the Google+ input box mentioned in this article. You can use one of the following plugins:

    Please let me know how it goes.

  21. *it NOT is! Ugh…I hate when that happens!

  22. I was only correcting a typo…if that’s what you were asking re: the last line. lol

    Re: the plug in, I followed the steps you provided and downloaded the files and unzipped them but when I go to my WordPress install root (which is my web address, I assume?) followed by /wp-content/plugins I get nothing – no plugin control panel – nothing comes up. I’m not sure but it might have something to do with my publisher being the web administrator. I host thru them (for now) but have access to certain applications, not all. I contacted them to see if that is the problem…waiting for a response. I pray they don’t turn around and tell me I have to pay them to take care of this…I’ll scream. The website – design, etc. – was part of what I paid for with my pub pkg so I went with it but didn’t like the limited control right off. I could have done all this for free! Live and learn.

    Thanks much!

  23. I guess what I should be asking you is where do I find the /wp-content/plugins/ directory to where I have to upload the WordPress-seo folder?

  24. Ok…mystery solved. Yes, indeed, my publisher doesn’t use that plugin due to “problems” with it and I have no control unless I pull up stakes and go get hosting elsewhere, which I might have to do. Thank you for your time, I appreciate it. Learn something new every day!

    • Teresa, I am so sorry to hear that you are unable to add the plugin. I do have one more thing to try that does not require a plugin.

      Please try adding the following to a text widget replacing the “your-google-plus-digits” with you own, and “Your Name” with the name you use on your Google Plus profile:

      Please let me know if this works.

  25. Julius says:

    This is the very clear and simple method I read how to setup Google Authorship. :-)

  26. Being new to blogging, I often wondered how to get my photo on the search page. I really found this article and post very helpful. Thank you!

  27. Anonymous says:

    What sharing plugin do you use? I’m mentioning the “Sharing is Caring” thing on bottom of your posts?

  28. Kenneth C Young says:

    I am at your article on setting up the Google Authorship and I cannot find the contributor area as per the about section in Google+ so I can insert my website title and link. Has Google changed things around and now your article is outdated or am I missing something?

    Kenneth C Young

    • Kenneth, the “Contributor to” is still in the “Link” section of the About section of the Google Plus Personal Profile. If you would like to private message me your Google URL profile URL, I will be happy to take a look.

  29. Lory Zhang says:

    Hi Robin, very clear and easy to understand steps. I just set up my Google+ authorship according to your guide. Thank you very much.

  30. Jessica Valentine says:

    This is brilliant! Easy steps to configurate! However, my wordpress.com blog doesn’t have google + in the profile area… is this just for wordpress.org? Thanks,

    • Jessica, these directions are for self hosted WordPress blog. If you are unable to use a plugin, please try adding the code via a text widget.

      • Barbara says:

        I too have a WP.com site I did the text box addition and all that shows up in my right column is the name – my name – I inserted into where you said to. There is no link back or connection to Google+ , which I wasted time creating – and a badge – another waste I assume.
        How is this protecting authorship? A form of my name is my wordpress.com site.
        (The version I use as a writer – Two initials and last name – my GoDaddy name I paid for and they linked to WordPress.). If only Google+ was so accommodating!
        So is that all the text box is meant to do? I’ve spent the day learning I was doomed to failure with a WP.com Thanks

        • Barbara, I am sorry to hear that you are having problems setting up Google Authorship on your WP.com website. I would be more than happy to take a look at it for you. Would you please send me the URL of your website and your Google+ URL to: robin.s @ r-rwebdesign.com?

  31. Shruti says:

    I have the same problem with my website. The image used to disappear for a few days in the google search results, but it always returned. Now the image has been gone for about 2 weeks now. I used to the test to verify that the image appears – it still tests okay. But it doesn’t appear in the actual google search results. Suggestions on what to check would be appreciated!

    • Shruti, I’m sorry to hear that your thumbnail Google Plus profile photo is not showing in Google’s search results. If the test on the structured data testing tool shows that Authorship is working correctly, it is safe to assume that it is.

      Google does not guarantee that it will include your profile photo and rich snippets in results. Google states, “While we don’t guarantee that we will always use this information, we will check your site for marked-up content when we crawl it.” See: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1093493?hl=en

      I do hope that your G+ profile photo will start showing up again soon.

  32. Nice and easy set-up. Unfortunately it didn’t work on my blog: http://www.anetteiren.com/
    My google+: https://plus.google.com/118415077217814687540/

    I have installed the SEO by Yoast plugin. I’ve also installed the Google Author plugin. Any idea what went wrong? Does it usually work right away or do I have to wait until servers are updated. Does it also claim authorship on existing posts or only articles posted after the install?

    • Anette, I checked your home page and one of your blog article pages on Google’s data structured testing tool, and both show that Google Authorship is working. Please try again and let me know if the test shows it working for you.
      ~ Robin

      • Thanks a lot for your testing. Apparently there was a lag. Now it works when testing my site, and my picture also appear in Google searches with my article. Thanks a lot!!

      • I’m just coming back to say that I had to deactivate the Yoast SEO plugin because it made my name and tagline appear twice in search results and at the head of browsers. I saw others experiencing the same problem when I googled for a solution. Problem solved when installing the All in One SEO Pack instead. Have a great day! :)

        • Thank you for stopping back, Anette. Yoast SEO plugin does add some duplicates to the title. There is a fix for this, however, it requires editing the header.php of the theme. It looks like this may be a good subject for another article. Thank you for bringing this up.

  33. Stacy says:

    Thank you for the easy to follow instructions, I was struggling with setting it up properly and your post was what made the difference. I have it set right now.

  34. I have to say, this is the clearest, most helpful article I’ve found on Google Authorship. And I’ve stumbled through a few. It was incredibly helpful for me. I appreciate it so much. There was one other step I needed to take, which was to make sure the same email I use on Google + was the email I had verified on WordPress.com. I guess that profile in linked into my hosted site in an important way. But at this point, I have Google authorship working, so I’m really pleased about that. Thanks again!

    • Kimberly, you have made my day! Thank you for taking the time to not only read this, but for your kind words. I’m glad that you were able to determine that you had to use the same email on Google Plus that you verified on WordPress.com. Thank you, again!

  35. Cheers for the guide!

    Worked first time on one of my sites, but won’t work at all on the other.

    They’re virtually identical WordPress sites! Any ideas?

    Jim

  36. Hi Robin,
    This is the most helpful guide I have found on this subject! I found it easy to follow and have done everything it says, however I still don’t seem to be achieving authorship! It’s so frustrating! What am I doing wrong?
    My blog is: gemmawilliamsphotography.co.uk/blog
    google+ is: plus.google.com/u/0/+GemmaWilliamsPhoto
    Thanks so much for your help!
    Best wishes
    Gemma

    • Hi Gemma,
      I am happy to hear that you found this guide helpful. I had the opportunity to check your blog on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets. My results show that both Google Authorship and Publisher are working.

      Would you please try testing it again and let me know the results?

      • Thanks Robin, yes it is now showing as working on the test.
        However, it isn’t showing on actual search results – is this something that takes a long time to start working? Also, does it only work for blog posts that you have shared on Google+ or should it work for everything you have blogged, past and current?
        Thanks so much for your help!
        Gemma

        • You are very welcome, Gemma. I’m glad to hear that Authorship and Publisher are working on your tests at Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

          Yes, it does take time for it to start showing in search results. Google also states that it does not guarantee that it will include your profile photo and rich snippets in results. It also should work on past posts that were not actually shared on your Google+ profile or page.

          Again, you are very welcome. I am happy to be able to help.

  37. Really great article and helped me. Does we need verification email as email of this domain? or we can use alternate emails too? In your article i haven’t seen use of these two SEO by Yoast plugin. When we embed code in profile or in contact then where are they used?

    • Great questions, Bharat. Your Google+ profile is attached to your gmail email account. SEO by Yoast is a great plugin that will help you connect your blog to your G+ page. I hope you are able to determine how to set this up.

  38. Robert Mitchell says:

    Hi Robin,

    Great little blog post here! I have a question though:

    I would like to set it up so that multiple authors on a site can contribute to the latest news, do they each need an individual Google+ page or is it possible to do it from one central page? A kind of company page as this would be a lot easier for me and for the authors to use as they are not technically minded people! I’m wondering if I can just add more labels to the contributor section?

    Hope that makes sense and look forward to your reply!

    • Hi Robert,
      I’m glad to hear that you like this article. Great question. From an author’s perspective, having one’s own Google+ page is highly beneficial. Think of a Google+ profile’s numbering system as a drivers license across the Internet. I do understand that it does take time and some knowledge to set on up, but in the long run, it is well worth the effort. Each time the author publishes an article – no matter what the site – they will be given credit for it in Google’s eyes if they have Google Authorship set up properly. As far as setting up the multiple authors on the site, each one can have a separate user’s account and then be responsible for setting up their own Google+ account and entering it into the user’s section. I hope this helps, Robert.

      • Robert Mitchell says:

        Thanks for the quick response Robin,

        That does all make sense but after discussing with other people in the office I was pointed in the direction of Google+ for Business’s!

        As the authors would all be from the same business would it be possible to link them all from the one business account? So for example… Author A would be able to right on the blog and would ‘give authorship’ to Company A and in the same way Author B will do the same and also authorship will link to Company A so that readers are directed towards the company more than the individual.

        I do realise that this is slowly moving away from Authorship and more into your knowledge of Google+ but any help would be greatly appreciated!

        • Robert, it sounds like Google+ Publisher might work for what you are describing. The rel=publisher (Google+ Verified Publishers) would be for your whole website no matter who the author of a particular article is.

          To use Google+ Publisher, you will need a Google+ brand page. Then, you would add your website to the About page.

          Then, you will need to add the link for the rel=”publisher” in the header of your website. For example:

          If you are using Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin, you can add your page by going to: SEO > Social > Google+

          Perhaps a dedicated article to Google+ Publisher would be a great idea. What do you think?

  39. Hi, thanks for the article. I just thought I’d mention that plugins aren’t available on wordpress.com. Probably obvious to you but not to a novice like me!!! Perhaps worth mentioning in future articles.

    Best wishes,
    Harriett

    • Hi Harriett,

      Yes, unfortunately, plugins cannot be added to WordPress.com sites. You can, however, add the code to a widget area. For example, you can add the following in a sidebar or footer widget:

      • Log into your WP dashboard and go to Appearances > Widgets
      • Locate and drag “Text” from to a Widget section on the right column.
      • In the Text box under “Title”, enter the Google Authorship code – example:
      • Click save

      If you do get the chance to try this, please let me know how it goes.

  40. I am having some issues with authorship and would like to speak with you if possible.

    John

  41. Alex Bond says:

    Robin you explained the whole thing in a detailed manner and there is nothing to say more. Many people because of the techno bubbles or technicalities still haven’t set up Google Authorship. But this article of yours describes all the possible ways to set it up and how easily people can do it on their own without any hassles. So thanks to you for sharing such lovely and helpful articles! :)

    • Thank you, Alex. It is great to hear that you found this article helpful. You are right. Setting up Google Authorship may seem like a technical challenge to some people. Hopefully, this will be of some help. Thank you again for your comment and for stopping by.

  42. Tania Rodgers says:

    Thanks for sharing the article on Google Authorship… I’m reading into it and see if we need to have one set up….

  43. levent says:

    I have a blog site and I added my google authorship code to my footer. After that my posts started to seen every keyword. Is this damage my SEO? Adding things to my footer is a legal thing?

    If yes, how can I add my other author because this only shows my picture in search results.

  44. Levent, thank you for stopping by. I am not sure what you mean by “is this damage my SEO? Adding things to my footer is a legal thing?”

    Google does have guidelines for what pages to put Authorship on. You can read about them at: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ch/2013/08/relauthor-frequently-asked-advanced.html

    In short, Google+ Authorship should be used only on blog posts and other individually-authored content on websites — and not on home pages, product pages, informational pages, contact pages, and so on.

  45. Alice says:

    Hi Robin,

    Thank you so much for sharing this EASY tutorial. I have tried loads of different ways but without any succes until I’ve encountered yours.

    Thank you!

  46. Thomas says:

    Great Tutorial. Easy-to-follow.

    Thank you very much.

  47. Janice Person says:

    Thanks for this… I had set mine up some time ago and some how it never went through. Finally realized it and your process worked — love the testing option too!

  48. Cristina says:

    I followed your steps (installed WordPress SEO) and then Google’s instructions. After hours of work, Structured Data Testing Tool continues to tell me neither the email nor Authorship using rel=author Markup options are correct. I followed their instructions to the tee, but apparently there is something less obvious I am missing.
    Robin, where do I start troubleshooting?
    Thanks.

  49. Elmer says:

    Thanks for another fantastic article. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal means of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such info.

  50. Paul Ames says:

    This is one of better explanations of Google verification I’ve seen, there are a few out there that are a bit confusing, but this one does a good job explaining. Thank You.

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