Does Google Count You as an Established Author?

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

Have you noticed the Google search results pages sometimes has the photo of the person alongside the link. When a person searching for information has a whole page of possibilities to choose from - which one will they choose? Most likely they will pick the topmost result. HOWEVER if one of the lower results grabs your eye based on the difference of an author's photo and stats - the latter item may be the one that actually gets the clickthrough. Do you see the advantage here? Are you leveraging it on your blog posts? You need to be. Let's talk about how to do it.

google results page with authorship results

Google has given us some simple guidelines how to get this done for your pages. Here's the checklist:

1. You need to have a Google+ account

2. Your profile photo needs to be a clean headshot or it will be rejected - no logos and no photos where your face is a tiny speck in the overall picture

3. Your Google+ About page needs to have an entry in the "Contributor To" category of the Links section that points to the site where your blog lives. In fact you may have several entries in that list. Your ActiveRain blog URL, your outside blog URL (if you are using an outside blog), your main web page or WordPress site should also be listed there as applicable.

4. Each site where you are posting your content needs to have a link to your Google+ page. For your ActiveRain blog, this is simply done by editing your AR profile. One of the entries is on your profile is for your Google Plus URL. (see the post Google Authorship on your ActiveRain blog for more info). If you are utilizing an AR outside blog or a WP blog, you will want to consider including a Google+ link in your blog signature. A blog signature is a block of text that automatically shows up on every one of your posts. Many choose to attach the link to a icon/button but you can also simply attach it to text like "find me on Google+". One important special thing not to miss about this link that you put in a signature block is that you need to append the following parameter text at the end ?rel=author

5. Make sure your full name is on your page, preferably preceeded by the word "by" to help Google realize who the author of the post is. Your name needs to exactly match your name on your Google+ profile. Your name should be in your blog signature so it appears on each of your posts. (note in my own case I did not use the prefix "by" but Google figured it out anyway - you will be able to test your own case in the step below) 

6. Once all the pieces are in play, test out one of your pages to validate you have done it right. Go to the Structured Data Testing Tool page and paste a URL to one of your blog posts. See if it passes.

That was the birdseye view. Now let's look at a few of the details that you will need to know to help in the steps above.

We can start with your Google+ Profile page. There are several sections that you can edit. Look for the "Links" section and click the "Edit" text at the bottom of the box. Find the "Contributor to" subheading and add links to the pages where your content resides.  Each link you add will have two parts 1) what you want the link to say and 2) the URL to the page.

creating a contributor link in Google plus

On the ActiveRain side, be sure and edit your profile and make sure the Google+ URL is entered in the corresponding box. Additionally, if you want a Google+ link in your signature (which will make sure your outside blog gets the authorship requirement), you will need to know how to edit your blog signature. In the upper right of the ActiveRain pages you will see your name just above the menu bar. Click your name for a pop down menu to appear. Click "Blog Settings" to get to a page where you can edit your signature. This is what will appear at the bottom of every one of your posts. 

edit your blog signature in ActiveRain

Your Google Plus URL will be needed so you can create a link on your AR blog or wherever else you are posting your content. If you go to Google+ and then click the profile button on the left navigation bar, you will see the URL at the top of the window in the address bar. Select the text from the beginning up through a very long list of numbers. Don't select the entire URL, stop immediately after the numbers. Copy that to your clipboard.

google plus profile URL selection

Head over to your AR blog signature and create your link to your Google+ page. You can use a button icon like you see I have below or you can just type text like "Find me on Google+" and then link the text. Paste the URL that you have on your clipbaord and then
be sure to type this parameter at the end 

(important note: there is to be no space between the last number
and the ?rel=author text - it  needs to be together)

link from blog to google plus with rel=authorAfter we have all the pieces in place, let's check out our results using the Structured Data Test Tool. Go to one of your actual blog posts and copy the URL from the address bar into your clipboard. Paste the URL on the test page and see what your results are.

structured data testing tool passed test

Congratulations on your status as a Google recognized author!

Now how's that list of yours going? You know the one called "my long tail keyword goals" None of this authorship exercise will mean anything unless you are writing articles to actually be found by. Head over to blogging boot camp if you want help on that target.

this post was last edited on 3/12/13 to include more information
about the Google+ authorship option via the AR profile page

Posted by

Hi there! Thanks for checking out my blog today. I'm a tech guy living in New York City but I love that I can reach so many via means of the web. In my blog posts and tutorial videos, you'll get many new takeaway points that you'll be able to apply. By following my blog (button below), you will be able to see my new posts in your "following" newsfeed. If you enjoyed this post also be sure and click "like". It helps me see that my content is hitting the mark!

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Beth and Richard Witt 03/09/2013 11:32 PM
  2. Debbie Gartner 03/10/2013 03:28 AM
  3. Brian Gibbons 05/14/2013 04:53 AM
  4. Mirela Monte 08/14/2013 09:19 AM
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Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Yup, we did this a while back with both AR and Google+ accounts!

Mar 14, 2013 04:49 AM #58
Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-818-6700 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Craig: Lot's of great information.  Sometimes I feel like real  estate is a distant second career to technology.

Mar 14, 2013 11:51 AM #59
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Craig, Thank you for so excellent information very explanatory. I bookmarked for late! Great Blog post!!

Mar 14, 2013 12:55 PM #60
Melissa McKinney
McKinney Realty Group - Fayetteville, NC

Craig~I am working on this step by step..thank you! Just when I think I have it done then it doesn't show the picture UGH! I am trying to get the hang of Plus, thank you for the encouragement, I will let you know how it goes! 

Mar 14, 2013 03:07 PM #61
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Craig -- thanks so much for this terrificly helpful post!  I have some work to do :-)

Mar 14, 2013 03:55 PM #62
Lehel Szucs
All Seasons Real Estate, Inc. - Covina, CA
REALTOR of choice

great tips ... I am going to print this article and start working on these suggestions

Mar 16, 2013 03:03 AM #63
Patty Cook

Hey Craig,

I am having trouble with the part abut linking the Google plus acct back to our blog... we have e-blogger and I can't seem to find the place to enter the link. I think I did the other things.


Mar 17, 2013 01:43 AM #64
Larry Hodel
First Team SnS Real Estate - Chino Hills, CA

Craig, I linked my blog URL,, on Google + and then added the authorship info to the signature of my activerain blog. None of my blogs tested for authorship. Any suggestions???

Mar 21, 2013 01:45 AM #65
Larry Hodel
First Team SnS Real Estate - Chino Hills, CA

Craig, after 2 1/2 hours I finally got it. Once I added my Google + URL to my activerain profile, it all worked.

Mar 21, 2013 03:05 AM #66
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

Craig - it must just be me but EEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK! I am pretty good with this kind of stuff but I can't follow at all! Janis said you are a wizard - I'll try this step by step again but may need to give you a call :-/

Mar 21, 2013 06:42 AM #67
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

Wow wonderful. I did it. Now that I have slowed down I have time to catch up on all your great training. Thanks Julie

Mar 21, 2013 09:48 AM #68
Paddy Deighan JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

great blog that is very useful..I went through this process some time ago and I am very glad that I did!!! 

Mar 22, 2013 07:43 AM #69
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Craig, great post.  I think AR just did a webinar on this, but yours is much easier to follow!

Mar 31, 2013 07:48 AM #70
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Apr 04, 2013 09:23 AM #71
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Running right over to check this out...and make our portrait STANDS out,, always great advice !

Apr 22, 2013 10:03 PM #72
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Hi Craig.. missed this one ... good to let people know how to use this. SUPER important.

May 11, 2013 01:37 PM #73
Brett Nutter
Stars and Stripes Realty - North Pole, AK
Brett Nutter

So glad I reviewed my stuff I thought I had it set up correctly, turns out I did not.

May 27, 2013 03:20 PM #74
Leonard Saavedra
Keller Williams Realty East Valley-Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated - Gilbert, AZ
Keller Williams Realty East Valley

Thank you so much for this blog post! I did everything and the testing tool and everything looks great and authorship is good to go. However, when I google my blog post,  it does not show up with my picture.  It does on the testing tool preview, though.  Any thoughts?

Thank you!

Aug 07, 2013 06:48 AM #75
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Leonard - since you just made the updates, it may take the google servers a little while to update their settings for you. Good job on the update steps

Aug 07, 2013 07:21 AM #76
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
30 Years of Real Estate Experience!

Craig - Absolutely fantastic post with so much attention to detail. I am definitely going to have to read this one again and follow along step by step. Thank you for providing this very useful information!

Feb 24, 2014 05:12 PM #77
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