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We recently released a new feature on ActiveRain that easily allows you to set up Google Authorship inside of ActiveRain with very little hassle.
What is Google Authorship? Well there are a ton of articles out there that explain it much better than I ever could, but essentially it is your way of getting Google to trust the content that you write and attribute that content to you in the search results. If you pay attention, you'll no doubt have noticed something like this showing up recently in Google search results:
This is a pretty big deal as Google rarely changes the actual display of their search results. We've all gotten accustomed to the standard 'blue link, green URL, black description' over the years so when they make a change, it tends to stick out. In fact, it's being reported that Google Authorship and having your picture display next to your result is increasing click through rates for posts that don't land at the very top of the search results.
Many of Google's recent updates are aimed at doing away with spam sites and trying to give their customers (read: searchers) the best results possible. The addition of Google Authorship is no exception as Google aims to try to build a profile of you as an author and get a better understanding of who is writing about what, and how valuable that content is to the people finding it (their customers).
So We Had to Make it Easy
Michael George recently wrote a series of posts about setting up Google Authorship on your ActiveRain blog. We couldn't appreciate his effort any more. In fact, after watching him assist many of you in setting it up in the comment section of his posts, we decided it was time to make it a little easier. We also know that any time Google makes a play and suggests you do something, we're going to go ahead and listen. So with thanks to Google and Michael, here's how you set up Google Authorship for your ActiveRain blog.
How to Set up Google Authorship
Step #1. The first thing you need to have is a Google+ profile. If you have a gmail account, or any kind of Google account, you already have Google+ set up. You just need to figure out where it is and get things all squared away there. Here is a post that walks you through setting up Google+ and some of the important things to consider.
Step #2. Once you have your Google+ profile set up, you want to find the URL of your profile on Google+. It will be something like this: https://plus.google.com/107760658798608589600
Now that is mine, you won't want to use that. But if you click on 'profile' on the left hand side of your Google+ page, the URL you will be on is almost what you want.
When you click on that profile link on the left hand side of the page, your URL will look something like this
You want to copy everything in there except the '/posts'. So I copied: https://plus.google.com/107760658798608589600 (Go ahead and keep your Google+ profile open in a tab on your browser, we'll need to come back to it in a few minutes)
Step #3. Now I am going to jump over to where I edit my ActiveRain profile. On the page where I edit my ActiveRain profile, you will now see a field that looks like this:
Go ahead and take the URL that you copied from your Google+ profile and throw it in that field. Once you add that, make sure to hit the 'save profile' button so that it actually save the Google+ URL to your profile.
Step #4. Now that you've done that, step four is all on us. We will add the appropriate HTML to your profile and your blog page. I'll spare you the details, but just know that now there is a rel="author" and a rel="me" tag floating around on your blog and on your profile in the source code of the page. That's how Google keeps it's finger on the pulse of the web.
Step #5. Now you want to go back to your Google+ profile (which is easy, because you kept it open in a tab) and add a link to your ActiveRain profile in the 'contributor to' section of your Google+ profile. In order to do this, click on the 'edit profile' button on your Google+ profile.
Once you are on the edit page, scroll down until you find the section titled 'contributor to'
Go ahead and click on 'contributor to' and that will pop up a little box that you can use to add a link to your ActiveRain profile. (You'll need to click 'add custom link' on the pop up page.)
Once your ability to add a custom link appears, go ahead and use the first box to give the link anchor text and then paste your ActiveRain profile URL in the second box. You can see below that I named my link 'Seattle Real Estate Blog' and I linked it back to my ActiveRain profile at http://activerain.com/arbob. Arbob is my user name. Your profile on ActiveRain is located at http://activerain.com/(whatever your user name is). At that point, hit save and viola, you will have been confirmed as an author using Google Authorship
Some advice on naming your link. Use anchor text that actually tells Google something about your blog. Don't just use 'my ActiveRain blog', or 'my blog' or something that doesn't utilize good anchor text. Think geographic and think about what you want Google to know about you as an author.
Why Isn't My Face Showing up Right Away?
Google doesn't actually promise to show your face in the search results at all. In fact, they reserve the right to do it if they want. And even if they decide to show your face because you have written such great content, it's not going to happen right away. Give it a little bit of time and check back on your search results every couple of days.
If you are wondering if you did everything right, you can head over here and run a test. When you get to that page, just take the URL of your profile or even the URL of one of your blog posts on ActiveRain and throw it in the field near the top of the page. If you did it correct, the results of the test should look something like this.......
Notice above in green where it says "Verified: Authorship markup is verified for this page." If you see that after you run the test from the link above, you're all good to go. Then it's up to Google when they will actually start showing your face in the results.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.