How to tell Google you’re the author of your stories

google authorship

So you’re writing your stories for the world to read. But are you fully claiming the credits in the world’s most popular search engine? Ever seen a bio photo next to a search result in Google? If you’ve been dying to have yours show, then read on to see how to get your photo showing on the king of ‘spartan searching’!

It’s been a while now since Google introduced its Authorship functionality but many bloggers are yet to catch up and tend to stay away from Google Plus. When you claim your Google Plus profile and properly link it to your blog(s) you claim authorship for your posts, and then Google connects you, the author, to your content. This then adds your profile photo next to your posts in the search engine results.

Like so:

google author

How to do this?  There are various ways but this has been the simplest way for me to achieve the same result. Google’s explanation is a little messy and I wish someone could tell them to stop beating around the bush and give users the simplest path.

Anyway, here we go.

Step 1: Prepare your blog

Check that your blog is displaying your name as the author of each post. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s not showing your full name.

For example:

blog byline

Step 2: Tell Google who you are

To be able to claim authorship in the search results, you must have a Google Plus profile. You don’t have to be active on Google Plus but the only way for this to work is to set up a profile.

Add a photo to your profile Choose a photo that the entire world would be seeing. The more professional or posh the look, the better. Google won’t display your photo if it cannot detect a full face.

Under “Contributor to” section add the links to each of your blogs that you’re claiming authorship to. If a blog you regularly contribute to isn’t claiming authorship yet, enter the links anyway. This will then auto-connect your Google Plus profile to your posts on their blog when the owner finally does the same as we’re doing today.

Step 3: Claim authorship

Find your Google Plus ID to paste into your blog account. See mine:

google plus number


In Blogger, click on Google+ and you’ll be able to switch from Blogger ID to Google+ ID. Click ‘Get Started’ and Blogger will show you the new look. Your awesome public Google+ profile will replace your Blogger profile. So if you’re happy to do that, tick ‘I have read…’ and ‘Switch now’.

In WordPress, go to Users and click on Your Profile and paste your ID for Google+.

In WordPress, using Thesis go to

WP Admin > Thesis > Site Options > Document Head > Additional Scripts

paste the following code, replace the Xs with your Google Plus ID and save:

<link rel=”author” href=””/>

Google Authorship claimed!

Step 4: Check that it’s working

Google might take some time to start showing your photo in the search results. So, be patient and don’t panic. To check that the Google Authorship is working, go to the Google Rich Snippet tool and enter your domain name.

google snippet

Step 5: Update Contributor section

As you guest post on other sites, give the bloggers your Google Plus ID for your bio.

Then come back to Google Plus to update with the blog link. Just the URL of the blog, not the post. This way, you don’t need to update whenever you post, just once.

google plus

Step 6: Give authorship to guest bloggers

If you offer guest bloggers their own use profiles on your blog, then you need to ask the guest to update theirs just like you did yours.

If you use an author box plugin that offers space for a Google Plus ID or link then you can easily type in the ID into the plugin.

If you’re simply adding a link on the post, at the start or bottom, then use the following template to link the blogger to their Google Plus account:

Add <a href=””>Rhonda Chapman</a> to your Circle on Google Plus.

Note:the rel=author tag at the end of the profile URL.


Add Rhonda Chapman to your Circle on Google Plus.

That’s it, you and your guests are set.


Whenever your posts pop up in a Google search result, your photo only appears once per results page, and will appear at the top. If you click Next to move to the next results page, the photo appears next to the post at the top. This is normal.

google authorship once in search engine

Let me know what you think!

Image by Kristina Alexanderson.

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