I really like all of the recent updates to Active Rain. This is a great update that provides a huge amount of benefit and further adds to the power of the platform. Great job AR!
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
Watch this quick video 1.5 minute video then follow the steps below
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. Make sure you are logged into Google+ on the browser you have open. While logged in to Google+, open another tab on your browser and navigate to ActiveRain.com and more specifically to the page on ActiveRain that allows you to edit your profile.
Once you get to the 'edit' page on your profile on ActiveRain, look for the little section on your profile that says "find me at" and click on the little pencil icon to the left of those words
Step #3: Once you click the little pencil icon to edit that section of your profile, Look for the area that allows you to sign in to your Google+ account. As long as you are logged into your Google+ account on the same browser, you will automatically be able to connect your ActiveRain account with your Google+ account.
Step #4: Once you have signed in with your Google+ account, the 'sign in' button will be replaced by two links. One link says 'import URL' and the other links says 'verify'. First click the 'import URL' link in order to import the URL of your Google+ account. Then click the 'verify' link. This will ensure that ActiveRain is connected to your Google+ profile.
Step #5. Once you click the 'verify' link, you will see some additional instructions appear. These tell you the final step of setting up Google Authorship for your ActiveRain blog. For this part, follow the little link that says 'Google Plus "Other Profiles Links'. When you click on that, you will be brought to the 'About' portion of your Google+ account. From this page, scroll down until you find the Links section (It looks like the image below) and then click the 'edit' button.
Step #6: Once you are on the edit page, scroll down until you find the section titled 'contributor to' and then click the 'add custom link' option in the 'Contributor to' area.
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 'San Jose Real Estate News and Events' and I linked it back to my ActiveRain blog at http://activerain.com/blogs/arbob. Your blog on ActiveRain is located at http://activerain.com/blogs/(whatever your user name is). At that point, hit save and viola, you will have been confirmed as an author using Google Authorship. But there is one more step!
Step #7: At this point, you now want to also direct Google to your profile on ActiveRain. This will help ensure that everything lines up. In order to do this, from that same place you edited your 'contributor to' section, directly above that is a place to tell Google where you have a profile somewhere online. In this section, you will add a link to your profile on ActiveRain. Your profile link is something like: http:activerain.com/profile/arbob (where you replace 'arbob' with your own user name). Go ahead and put a link to your profile in the 'Other Profiles' section as shown below and then hit 'Save'. Now you're done!
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.