You may have recently seen profile images appear next to a link within Google’s search results. If not, here’s an example:
As you can see above, a picture really speaks a thousand words, especially when compared to search results without one. Google enables this through what they call Google Authorship, or the process of associating your Google+ profile with content you publish to the web. You may or may not care about Google+ as a network, but that really doesn’t matter here - if you tag your content with your Google+ profile you’ll get this association and a big leg up within Google’s search results.
Now, if you have a blog where you’re the only author (like this one), the easiest way to configure authorship is to stick a code snippet in the
head section of your website:
<link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/107165108271054381833/"/>
This tells Google that all content created for this site should be attributed to the person with that Google+ profile URL (in this example, me). You’ll of course need to replace that URL with your own Google+ profile URL. If you’re confused where to stick the snippet, just view the source of this page to see where I’ve placed it.
There are a couple other ways to set up authorship:
- If your email address contains the same root domain where you frequently post content (e.g. - firstname.lastname@example.org and blog.signalhq.com), then you should add your email address to your Google+ profile and verify it.
- If you infrequently contribute to a site (e.g. - guest blog posts), then simply reference your Google+ URL in the author section of your post and append
rel=authorto the end of the URL. This post from Andy Crestodina does a nice job walking through how to do this with example screenshots.
Authorship for a specific page can be validated here: