social media how toDoes Google know you’re the author of the content you publish online?

If you answered “I don’t know,” chances are you haven’t heard of a very powerful piece of HTML markup code known as rel=”author”.

When implemented correctly on websites or blogs with authored content, this small addition to your articles can have a dramatic impact on how your content appears in Google’s search results.

This article will explain exactly what rel=”author” is, why you need to pay attention to it and most importantly, how to set it up on your website or blog.

What is rel=”author”?

Most of us are familiar with the HTML anchor tag as a way to link out to content as seen in this image:

don on google plus

Standard anchor tag linking to Google+ account.

In that traditional format, the “href” part of the markup is called an attribute of the anchor tag that references the location of the content being linked to.

Now, if we add the attribute rel=”author” to the anchor tag, the link looks like this:

don with rel author

Anchor tag including rel="author" linking to Google+ account.

In this example, the extra attribute rel=”author” associates authorship with the content of the page on which the link appears. In other words, it’s the first step in telling search engines like Google that you are the author of the content you create.

Why You Should Pay Attention to rel=”author”

search results page

Pop quiz: In the search results page above, which stands out?

Chances are you were drawn to the result with the picture—even though this was not the #1 result!

In this example, Google uses the rel=”author” attribute to include a picture of the content’s author. Currently, Google uses the profile image from Google+ as a source for the author image. If you click on the author’s name just to the right of the image, you’ll also link to that author’s posts on Google+.

If you’re logged into your Google account (also known as Google’s Search, plus Your World feature), Google may also display information like the author’s circle count on Google+.

In some cases, searchers may be able to add the author to their Google+ circles and even comment on their Google+ posts—all from within the search results page!

Note: these additional features may not be available to all searchers or all locations at this time.

The benefits of this functionality are obvious. By introducing a variety of relevant, value-added features to search results, searchers are encouraged to interact with the links that contain these interactive features. In other words, people are more likely to click on links associated with author images and profiles than those without.

How to Implement rel=”author”

Prepare Your Google+ Profile

Google gets the image for the authorship “Rich Snippets” from your Google+ profile. That means before you even think about using the rel=”author” markup on your site, you’ll need to create a personal account on Google+.

Once you’ve created your Google+ account, upload a high-quality photo for your profile image. The photo has to look good at full size and also as a tiny thumbnail in the search results. Don’t forget to fill out all of the informational fields in your profile such as your occupation, education and so on, to let people know more about you.

high quality headshot

Upload a high-quality photo that looks good both at full size and as a thumbnail.

Most importantly, you MUST add the name and complete URL of the blog (or blogs) you author in the section of your profile called Contributor to. To do this, click the Profile button (just underneath the Home button) on the left navigation column on your Google+ home page.

Next, click the blue Edit profile button, then scroll down and click the Contributor to section of your profile. Click the Add custom link and fill in the Label and URL fields to specify the name and location of the home page of the blog you’re contributing to.

add contributor

Add the name and home page URL of the blog you're contributing to.

Click the blue Save button to save your changes, then click the “Done editing” link at the top of the page. Double-check the Contributor to section to make sure your new blog was added.

completed contributor

Verify that your blog was properly added to the Contributor to section of your Google+ profile.

Finally, note the URL in the address bar of your browser—you’ll need it for the next step in the process. It should look something like this:

google profile url

Take note of the URL of your Google+ account.

Setting Up rel=”author” for Single-Author Blogs

Once you’ve properly configured your Google+ profile, setting up rel=”author” on a single-author blog is relatively simple.

Anywhere on the page of any blog article you’ve authored, you’ll need to create a link to your Google+ profile that includes the rel=”author” attribute. A good place to create an unobtrusive link would be embedded in an image or in the text of your author bio.

create a link

Create a link to Google+ on an image or via a text link.

When you create your link to your Google+ profile, make sure to add the rel=”author” attribute. Also, strip off all of the extra characters from the URL (like “/u/0/” and “posts”) so that you’re left with a direct link like in the example below.

format link to google plus

The link to your Google+ account must be formatted exactly like this.

Insert your link anywhere in the blog post. After Google crawls your website (this could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks), it will associate the content of the blog post with the image on your Google+ profile. Eventually, your photo will appear next to search results for your articles, along with an authorship link to your Google+ profile.

You can even use Google’s own “Author Stats” to track the increase in traffic to your blog after implementing the rel=”author” markup on your content.

Setting Up rel=”author” for Multi-Author Blogs

If you write for or manage a blog with many different authors, there are a couple of extra steps you’ll need to do to properly configure rel=”author”.

If the author bylines in your multi-author blog link to individual author bio pages, configure the link to the author bio page using a variation of the rel=”author” attribute called rel=”me”.

author byline

How to link to individual author bio pages.

Next, on the individual author bio page, create a link from the author name to his or her Google+ profile, using the rel=”author” attribute again.

author bio page

Link from author bio page to Google+ using rel="author".

If your multi-author blog does not offer individual author bio pages (i.e., author archives), follow the procedure for single-author blogs. Insert a link to the author’s Google+ page anywhere in his or her articles, such as the footer or author bio that appears at the bottom of each article.

Alternate Method Using Email

If you’re uncomfortable with the methods described above, Google provides an alternative way to establish authorship of your content using an email address on your domain.

email method

Email method for setting up rel="author".

Simply follow the steps outlined on the page above to link your content with your profile on Google+ whether you’re working with single- or multi-author blogs.

Test Your Links With Rich Snippets Tool

Open Google’s Rich Snippets testing tool to make sure you’ve properly configured rel=”author” for any pages you author. Copy and paste the URL for each page you’d like to check and look for your Google+ profile image and a green verification message that your authorship markup was successful on this page.

rich snippets testing tool

Test the authorship of your pages with the Rich Snippets testing tool.

Final Things to Consider

Google cautions that the use of rel=”author” does “not guarantee that your profile will be shown in search results.”

If you’re not seeing your Google profile image appearing next to your articles in the search results after a week or so, Google provides a number of troubleshooting steps you can take to find out where the problem may be.

Also, the video below features Google’s Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson outlining all of the steps you need to take to implement rel=”author” on your single- or multi-author blog.

Have you implemented rel=”author” to claim authorship of the content you’ve written?

What do you think? Does your Google+ profile image appear next to your articles in Google’s search results? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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  • HI Don Power,
    I appreciate  how you deeply define this attribute. I have just google + profile and now em goign to implemnet this thoery for my blog. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  • Author Stats are no more available in Webmaster Tools from March.
    Probably they will be back, but not now 🙂

  • Thank you, Mr. Power. 

    I am constantly on the lookout for ways to grow my readership and improve my placement in the search engines. While I’ve worked some on my Google+ presence, it is becoming more obvious by the day that I need to put more effort into that growing platform.

    I’ll set aside some time to put your powerful (no pun intended…well, maybe just a little!) ideas to work! 

    Onward and Upward!


  • Can you have an author tag that links to a Google + company page rather than a personal Google + profile?

  • Yes you can use rel=publisher.

  • My pleasure, Fiza! I’ve used this attribute myself and it works great! Good fortune implementing it on your blog. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment! – Don

  • Hi Andrea! Yes, Google is always a moving target – things are always changing. Thanks for your comment and we’ll keep looking for the return of the author stats! – Don

  • Two quick questions: I use my middle initial on most of my writing – ie. Andrea J. Stenberg. But my Google account is Andrea Stenberg. Google isn’t recognizing my authorship because I have a “different” name on my blog. Any suggestions? Or do I have to change my name on my blog to match Google?

    Second, can you use both the rel=author & rel=publisher tags?

  • Hey Guy! You know, it doesn’t happen very often but I never tire of being called “Mr. Power” 😉

    The technique described above is very powerful. I’ve used it myself to beat Chris Brogan himself in the search results for “Chris Brogan Google+ book review” >,mod%3D18&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=chris+brogan+google%2B+book+review

    It only takes a few minutes to implement but the dividends keep paying after that!

    Thanks for your comment. Let us know when you implement rel=author and the impact it has on your search engine results!

    – Don

  • Thanks to Andrea for answering this question, below! Thanks for your comment Pinnacle!

    – Don

  • Thanks Andrea!

  • Hi Andrea;

    It can take up to a week or two for your authorship/Google+ avatar to start showing up in search results. Has it been longer than that since you made the change?

    If it’s been more than a couple of weeks and your avavtar is still not showing up, it might be worth attempting to make your names the same on all platforms. Choose the one that will have the least impact and make the change there (ie: I’d be more inclined to change my Google+ name to Andrea J Steinberg since its been around less than your online writing – I’m guessing). However, I’d recommend that you consult with a trusted SEO professional before making any drastic name changes.

    As I mentioned above in reply to Andrea Pernici, Google is a moving target so what works one day may work differently another.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Alexandra Barcelona

    I had heard about the Google author tag and how it can help search, but I wasn’t sure how to implement it. Thank you for the great step-by-step tutorial on how to do it. I will definitely be implementing this on my own blog and my company’s blog!

  • Thanks Alexandra! I used this technique to beat Chris Brogan in the search results…for his own book! 

    Thanks for your comment!- Don

  • Sarah Bauer

    Hey Don,
    Thanks for the detailed guide to adding Google author tags to my blog articles. I write for several companies in different industries, and this will be an awesome way to improve my visibility across search results. 
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

  • Miriam Slozberg

    I am wondering though, I entered my profile?=rel=author in my wordpress profile area, I am not sure if it is working as you said it can take weeks, is this not the correct way? Do you have to add your G+ profile link after each blog post you do with that exact html code you displayed?

  • Wow, that’s great support for me. Many thamks to you, Don and to all the other ones leaving comments.

  • Thanks for the article! I have a question? My website/blog is I was able to set up the Author tag in Google but I’m missing some coding. My picture and circle count shows up when I Google myself but I’m seeing more of my G+ posts vs blog articles.
    I’ve searched social, web and incognito. Any tips or what info above I may be missing?
    Laurie DesAutels

  • Great post! This falls right in line with the new penguin algorithm seeking out authority content. Will be getting our clients on this asap. Thanks!

  • BJ

    Great article. However under your “speakerfile” search example you might want to take out the last entry (speakerfile-youtube), the profanity caught my attention more than your picture 😉

  • Sarah Bergman

    At my e-tail small business, our strategy has been to work on branding our company, rather than branding individuals within the company. So our blog, website content, facebook, and twitter are all set up with the goal of communicating from the company as an entity. From the comments here, it looks like the rel=publisher attribute would be the way to go with this strategy — so now I’m wondering, is the impact of rel=publisher (as opposed to using rel=author) as valuable, in terms of gaining search visibility and authority in the eyes of Lord Google? In a nutshell: I can see the benefits of rel=author, but does rel=publisher have similar value?

  • marceladevivo

    Fantastic article Don, and very timely.  I added the rel=author tag to my site and within a short period of times saw a significant increase in my traffic from Google.  I’ve been recommending this to all of my clients and we’ve seen similar results for all of the sites.  

    I only have a question.  One of the sites I work with has a 301 from the to  Google seems to be having trouble recognizing this difference:

    Warning: based on data collected from your profile, you contribute to while your website seems to be  But doesn’t exist.  Any thoughts on how to fix this? 

  • Hi Sarah.

    You can have your Google+ profile picture appear in search results for multiple blogs you write for. Just make sure to include a link to your G+ profile in each blog post (or author bio page on each blog) and corresponding links BACK to all those blog in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile.

    Thanks for your comment and happy SERPing!

    – Don

  • Hi Miriam;

    I don’t know if including rel=author in WordPress will work.

    But if you follow the instructions exactly as I’ve described in the article, you should start seeing your G+ image appearing in Google search results within about a week or so. Try Googling a term you know you’ll rank for, like the actual title of your blog post, to confirm that your picture is showing up alongside your search results.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Best of fortune!

    – Don

  • Cheers Derek! Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Excellent Roy. Google is definitely going for the “authority” angle and authorship is a pretty powerful endorsement of that authority – based on my findings of how well this attribute does.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Thanks BJ. Must be vanity at looking at my own picture that I didn’t notice that 😉

  • Just followed step-by-step to update my self-hosted WordPress blog. Had to edit my theme template, which may not be for the squeamish. Specifically, went into the single.php and found the line of code that automatically called my author link from my WordPress user profile. Then simply replaced it with the HTML snippet you taught us how to build. It automatically updated several years of posts. Woo hoo!

  • I don’t get it all the way, but I was able to link photos of my books to their Amazon pages, which I’ve been wanting to do.  Thanks for the info.

  • Hi Sarah;

    In today’s world, where personality, authority, transparency and human engagement count for so much online, allowing your audience to find and connect with your business and brand through trusted individuals is a strategy that’s been proven effective over and over again.

    In other words, allow your staffers, freelancers, contributors to co-brand with your business and it will benefit all parties in ways that we’re only just scratching the surface of.

    I have not used nor do I have any experience with the rel=publisher other than how it’s used within the context of this article (I think Google+ assigns a rel=publisher attribute to the links BACK to the blogs you are a contributor to) so I can;t really speak about how that attribute can be used as a corporate “replacement” for rel=author. One of the commenters, above – Andrea Pernici – appears to have some experience with the rel=publisher attribute.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don 

  • Kimewest

    Can this be used for a web site rather than a blog?

  • Nice job Bob! No, I avoided the suggestion to crack open WordPress and php files – that’s definitely not for the casual blogger 😉

    In any event, I”m glad this worked so well for you. Seeing your image appear next to your search engine results for the first time for us bloggers must be something like when singers hear themselves on the radio for the first time – #GeekThrills

    Of course, it goes way beyond vanity when this tweak potentially generates tons more traffic to your blog because more people click on links with images in them!

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Hi Angela;

    I’m not quite sure how you managed to do that but if I played any small part, then I’m happy 😉

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Yes. As long as you author content on that website that has your name, a link to your personal profile on G+ and a link back to your website under the “Contributor to” section, this should work the same way.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don 

  • Allan Gaddi

    Hi Mr. Power! 🙂

    Hopefully I can implement this. Cool concept. Images really are very powerful!

    More power!

  • Imaginen

    Sorry to be so dense,  but I can;t find the Home button, much less the profile button that’s under it to fill out the contributor info…:(

  • Ellen Madaline

    I have a really stupid question. I am  not sure exactly where in WordPress to put the exact code as instructed. I tried to link to my photo in my WordPress About Ellen Tab and it didn’t work. Is a attribute link or anchor as you call it different from a hyperlink? If so, where do I put this code? Thanks, Ellen

  • I finally got it! (I’m not a very tech-savvy person, so it takes me a while.)

  • Thanks on all counts, Allan (including the Mr. Power reference 😉

    – Don

  • Hi Ellen;

    You just need to modify a hyperlink in your blog post to link to your Google+ account – but be sure and add the rel=author attribute. A normal hyperlink looks like this: Don on Google+ but you need to add the rel=author link to it like this Don on Google+ in order for it to work. You also need to link back to your blog in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile.

    Thanks for your comment. Hope this helps!

    – Don

  • Hi Imaginen;

    Once you’re logged into your Google+ account, on the left hand side of the screen there will be a bunch of icons listed from top to bottom.  2nd from the top is a circle icon that’s entitled “Profile”. Click it, then click the blue “Edit Profile” button near the top, center of your screen. Scroll down and add your blog to the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile. Save your changes and the Google+ piece of this method is done!

    Hope that helps!

    – Don

  • Glad you got it one way or the other Angela!

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Imaginen

    Dear Don, you’re the best! This is the first one of your postings that I’ve had trouble with. Your explanation of where to put the info into my Google + account worked. Now where do I put the code in my blog? Don’t you use plug-ins on to change any code? This will be really cool if all of this works and my photo comes up with my postings, as I’m already on the first page of Google for 3 of my long tail key word niches.

    Thanks so much for your help!

  • PhillipaKiripatea

    Hey Don,

    Thank you for the great tip! I wondered how people got their pics in the search results.
    Have just set mine up.

  • Way to go the extra yard and really cover all the possible steps, changes and HTML code(s) to make this a beneficial add to anyone’s Google+ efforts. Thanks for sharing Don!

  • As I mentioned above in reply to Andrea Pernici, Google is a moving target so what works one day may work differently

  • Alan Ng

    Great article here Don! Appreciate

  • Nichole Smith

    I have a feeling that’s what I’m going to have to do to in order to implement the coding. I tried via the route suggested in the post and it didn’t work. Time to pull out my patience and bravery on this one!

  • Sarah Bauer

    Cheers, Don!


  • Thanks for sharing! You’re my hero of the day. Excellent post.

  • Hi Don!

    I really love the way you have explained linking the bio and I am using the google + for this and thanks for sharing deeply sharing bio post. 

  • Ian

    This a very valuable and excellent article. As a writer of a blog about e-publishing, getting found in the search engines is extremely important.
    I have added the code to all my articles. The video is great, but I would add that Google has a tool called the Rich Snippets Testing Tool.
    It allows you to add your site and articles and it will verify them if you have added the code above correctly.
    I am not saying it will guarantee search engine success, but knowing you have been verified is remeasuring.
    Thanks again for an excellent article.

  • This is great, Don!

    I fixed up my Author Box immediately with the Google+ code snippet. Haven’t seen it working in the SERP’s yet though. Cheers! 

  • Nice guide Don, I was doing a bit of research and about to put something similar together but you beat me to it ha! Here’s another few tips –
    1. Anyone unsure if their added code is working properly – Insert your associated url in Google’s rich snippet testing tool… This will extract any marked up content on the page and show how the listing should eventually look in the serps once it is indexed.
    2. For wordpress users there’s a neat plugin called “authorsure” that makes it a little easier, just Google it or search from “add plugins”, it shouldn’t be too hard to find.
    3. There’s a handy tool over at for creating a more complete business profile in schema format. (It helps you mark up a load of other stuff (reviews, product info, etc.) as well if you need it.

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  • Don – thanks for one of the clearest explanations I have seen on this topic. 

    Now, does anyone have any recommended Author Bio plugins for WordPress? I just followed the instructions above manually for my last 20 blog posts but would like to automate this for the future. 

    Thanks in advance!

  • Hi Don and thanks for the article.

    I occasionally have guest posts on my writer’s blog. Would it still be appropriate for my pic to show up on a search regarding a guest post on a certain subject? I always write an intro for each guest post and do participate in the comments that follow, but not sure how that affects the intent of this suggestion. I don’t hae guest posts on my chocolate travel blog, so know it isn’t an issue there. Looking forward to your response. 

  • It is so true that my eye is drawn to the result with the photo image. That alone is reason enough to do this.

  • Sarah Bergman

    Thank you for the advice, Mr. Powers. It sounds like we need to work on emphasizing the human aspect in our social efforts, putting a strong face and identity behind our blog etc. rather than relying so heavily on the “corporate voice” to tell our story. Building relationships with our readers, fans, and followers has been challenging for us and it may be the lack of prominent, “trusted individuals” in our social presence that has been holding us back. I especially love that we do not have to go back to the drawing boards with our efforts to brand our small business, to try this strategy — I very much like the idea of “co-branding” individuals AND our company; I think this is a strategy we can really use! Thank you for your thoughtful response to my question, and for the illuminating information.

  • Mary W Walters

    I have ten blogs so that took me two hours, but I’m still going to say Thank You! I embedded the link into the sidebar so it’s always there.

  • Mark David Gerson

    I was able to follow your advice easily for my blog. But when I added the same info to the footer of my website and ran the webmaster-tools preview, I received the following message. Any idea what I need to fix in my G+ profile to get it to work?

    authorlinked author profile = profile = based on data collected from your profile, you contribute to while your website seems to

  • Hi Don, 

    This is great info and a benefit that may finally get me committed more to Google+. A quick technical question: When I type in the html as you instructed as such:  Google+.When I hit update, my blog changes the code so that it reads as such:
    Google+.Is this supposed to happen or have I messed up somehow? Will it still work?

  • Thanks for this great info. Am I understanding correctly that you only have to do this one time on one post for it to be effective on all posts or do I need to do it each time?

    Nevermind I figured it all out using the Authorsure WordPress plugin!

    Thanks again!

  • Don, thanks for providing clear and actionable information! 

  • Jenny try this:

  • Thanks for sharing that wordpress plugin – it was a huge help!

  • You’re welcome, glad to help. 

    Here’s a link to the plugin page for anyone else who wants to check it out .

  • Jackie Trottmann

    Do you recommend using this on some pages too? I have physicians who write content for WordPress sites but not blog posts. Would this still apply? Great article. 

  • See my reply to Ellen, immediately below, Imaginen.


    – Don

  • Nice! Now, without sounding rude, go Google yourself (and let us know if your picture shows up in the results).

    Thanks for tour comment Phillipa!

    – Don

  • Cheers Tyler – thanks!

    – Don

  • Thanks Alan!

    – Don

  • Cheers Marko. Thanks!

    – Don

  • Thanks Ayaz. Let us know when your Google+ profile image starts to show up in the search results!

    – Don

  • Thanks Ian. I did mention the Rich Snippets Testing Tool in the article. But thanks for reiterating this great tool.

    – Don

  • Keep Googling Kris. It’s pretty cool when you see your picture appearing in the search results for the first time!

    – Don

  • Thanks Sean. I mentioned the Rich Snippet Testing Tool in the article. Those other resources you mentioned seem like they’d be pretty useful too.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don 

  • Hi AK;

    What plugin did you use?

  • Hi Jenny;

    On my personal blog on WordPress, I just included a link to my Google+ profile in a sidebar widget and that works fine – as long as that widget appears for individual posts too. Or you can crack open the corresponding php file(s) as Bob Angus has suggested in the comments above. Since that method is potentially very detrimental to your blog if you make a mistake – please get professional web developer assistance if you want to go that route!

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Hi Doreen;

    My advice (and it’s shared by Google) is that if you wrote it, you should get credit for it. Individual articles can have rel=author links to whatever G+ profile(s) are pertinent. The security factor for Google is that you have to have access to the corresponding account(s) on G+ in order to link  BACK to the blog.

    Hope that helps!

    – Don

  • Hi Deborah;

    Yes, I concur. And so does Google. It says the image in the results generates more clickthroughs than without. My own anecdotal evidence also shows a significant improvement in the search engine RANKING – but Google neither confirms, nor denies this at this point.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Thanks Mary. Very astute about the sidebar link to G+ – that’s what I do too! See my comment to Jenny, above.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Thank you Sarah for your articulate reply. Sounds like you have a good handle on what you need to do  going forward!

    – Don

  • Hi Marcela!

    I *think* what you are describing is what SEO folks call “canonical” links. That goes over my head pretty quickly, so I think you’d be better to address this issue you’re having with an SEO professional. You can reach out to my two SEO buds @harbourcityseo and/or  @sustainablylush:disqus for help.


    – Don

  • It does take some time for this method to take effect. In the meantime, try the Rich Snippet Testing Tool as described in the article to see if you get confirmation that you’ve doe the procedure correctly.

    Hope that helps!- Don

  • Hi Michelle;

    When I clicked the Google+ link you provided, above, I went to your Google+ About Page. You have to link it to your G+ page, exactly like this: You appear to be missing // after https in the code you provided above. 

    Go over your links with a fine tooth comb. One mistake and it won’t work.

    Hope that helps!

    – Don

  • My pleasure Jonathan. Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Sorry Don, don’t know how I missed that first time round.

    Great read, I’ll be popping back again. Thank you.

    Sean P.

  • Hi AK;

    Glad you got it to work – by hook or by crook 😉


    – Don

  • Hi Jenny, I mentioned in another comment the link to the “authorsure” plugin for WordPress. I’m sure you’ve found it by now though. Its a great simple little plugin that gives you the option after every post whether or not you want to add authorship or not. Its been around for a while now actually so I’m sure there are others but its always done the trick for me.

  • Hi Laurie;

    I searched for the title of one of your blog articles on Google, and your G+ picture showed up in the results. So you’ve definitely done the process correctly, one way or the other.

    As for G+ articles coming up in search more than your blog posts, that’s strictly a function of Google’s search algorithm. You may want to consult with a professional SEO company for best practices for optimizing your blog.

    Thanks for your comment!

    – Don

  • Do you have the “” version set as your preferred domain in Webmaster Tools? Often the preferred domain gets set to the www. subdomain version of the site which can cause this confusion. 

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  • Thanks so much Don for your response and help! 

  • Ellen

     Thanks, Dan. I tried all of this, watched the tutorial, tried the rich snippets, captured the code but I’m just not sure I put the code int the right place. I turned the WordPress entry box to Html  and put it at the top of a post. It all disappeared. so I”m concerned I am just not putting it in the right place. Off to the WordPress Plug-In.

    I spent Many years as the editor of news rooms with people who did all this for me and now I’m paying for not learning the basics!

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  • Tammy Emineth

    Excellent articles that I can implement easily for all my clients.  Love the step by step.

  • Ellen Madaline

    Just found out I cannot upload Authorshare on my WordPress blog. I am starting to hate WordPress. 

  • Hi Don: I found your site link through Stevie Sacks at LinkedIn.  I added the string to the html of my blogger post, at the end, but didn’t like the link showing in post.  Couldn’t find good way to add to image either.  I left it at end of post but changed text color to white (my background is white).  Now the link is there, but it doesn’t show.  Going to start adding to all posts and look for search results in a few weeks.  Thanks.  Will add your site link to my blog sidebar at 

  • HI Don,
    Appreciate this good article and the information you provide. I’ve done the steps as you suggested. I went to rich snippet test, and received an error. Since I have my G+ account as Blair Evan Ball, and all the links, blog posts, etc. showing this. Google only recognizes Evan Ball and came back with an author error. Suggestions?

  • Hum, getting this thing right has been just a little frustrating – I’ve followed directions on setting it up at least three other times – even confirmed the link were okay – still my profile isn’t showing up. I’m going to bookmark your post and give this another try – thanks for the reminder!

  •  Hi Miriam, don’t know how you are going to add it, but for wordpress blogs there exists many plugins that enable you to add rel=author into your blog posts, and you don’t have to code it, install any plugin, activate, configure and you’re done. You may google : rel author wordpress plugin

  • AK, Don, and Sean – thanks so much for the follow-up information!

  • Don, I have my website which links to my WordPress blog.  I spent the better part of Sunday trying to make the rel=”author” work, and I’m not sure that it worked.  I’m not sure I can tackle Bob Angus’ approach–I don’t know anything about coding, let alone php.  Could you do a follow up article on how to implement rel=”author” on WordPress blogs?  I would be eternally grateful!!  Thank you!!!

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  • Wow. This is definitely one of the coolest techniques I’ve read about recently. I couldn’t even wait to finish reading the article before implementing it on my own blog, and I will be sharing this with my own followers and clients. Thank you!

    By the way, for Drupal users, I used a Block that is set to appear at the bottom of all my blog and story posts. I already had it working with standard About text, so all I had to add was a table with my image and name and link them according to your directions. I checked the source code to verify that it worked, and will be watching Google over the next few weeks to see if it “takes.”

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  • Hi Don,

    Does Google have rules for the use of Author tags or can you use it on any kind of page?

  • Hi Marquita!

    I did a search for one of your blog articles and your image appeared. Looks like you’ve set it up correctly after all! >


    – Don

  • Maureen Cioni

    I’ve been trying to do this as a rel=publisher but having issues. Will keep at it though. Thank you!

  • Maureen Cioni

    Trying to do this on my work’s blog as rel=publisher using AuthorSure but not having much luck. I will keep at it though, thank you!

  • Looks like your picture is appearing in the search results Mike! > And that only took 1 day! Great stuff. Thanks for your comment! – Don

  • Don,

    Do you know how to set up a “rel=author” tag on a WordPress
    Blog?  I tried to follow your instructions from
    How to Add Google
    Author Tags to Your Blog for Improved Search Results, but it doesn’t
    work for WordPress blogs!  When I do the Google check it tells me I need a WordPress email address (which I don’t have). Could  do a follow up for
    WP blogs?Thanks for your help!

  •  Also having your picture under your post on the Google search results page adds a little badass touch to your posts! ^^ (if you have a badass picture…)
    Thanks for the tip!

  • Candace

    Thanks Don for posting this info!  The video was helpful, but managed to follow your instructions and test the snippet – now we’ll see if the image appears in the search results.  Great info – thanks again!  Candace

  • Jon Clayton

    Thank you for the information. It is practical as well as useful. Many thanks!!

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  • Alan

    So what do you do if somebody publishes your content and puts their Google author tag on your content?

  • thanks! great tips, working great on my site

  • Allan Gaddi

     I forgot about this! Just did it. Now I have to wait 2 weeks?

    Thanks again, Mr. Power! 😉

  • Richard Skidmore

    Excellent and easy to follow. It’s time to put this into practice…wish me luck!

  • Really excellent article. This has helped me stand out in Google search results, and, I believe, encouraged prospects to just pick up the phone and call me. A picture of a real person adds authenticity too.

    I just set this up for one of my clients because it worked so well on my own site. Thanks!

  • Cierra

     I had that same question – about if this is possible for a Google + business account (not a profile). I see that you mentioned you add rel=publisher, but I’m not able to find the section that has a “contributor” when you scroll down on the edit profile. When I’m under the Google + business account, that option doesn’t exist. Is there a secret? 🙂

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  • Jeremy Howie


    Thank you for a value packed post!

    I have Google Authorship on my WordPress blog done through a text widget.  It is not showing up on a few of my page 1 and 2 posts.  Any ideas why?

  • Do you have any idea for multiple authors on blog? How to show all their snippets in the SERP’s? Thanks! 

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  • Gordon Robinson

    This was superb …was wondering how I was going to get Google + to recognise me – thanks and great info!!

  • Diana

    Thank you so much for this article. Easy to read and great tips! I’m curious – will this work for e-commerce site? We write original product descriptions of all the items and they are very descriptive and helpful to the customer. We write about the product in depth but also add a bit of personality for branding – read: no stuffy content. Please let me know. Thanks in advance! 

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  • Thanks for the walkthrough. How long does it take for google to pick up the change? I suppose it doesn’t automatically happen either…meaning Google doesn’t guarantee that your author image will show up in search results.

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  • gusvdw45

    Hi Don!

    Thanks for the post. I had implemented the rel=author attribute to my blog a while ago but used the check it up and make sure it was right… I needed to do that. I just have two questions, when i do search for something and I search pages from South Africa it doesn’t show my picture. Is there a way around this or is like that on purpose?

    Secondly, I keep this message in rich snippets test Warning: Missing required field “updated”. 
    I keep trying to find what to do to change it but it doesn’t seem to change or correct itself. My blog is maybe i am missing something?

    Greatly appreciate the help!

  • Hi. Where would this go on the article pages?

  • Google+ continues to amaze me. I especially like the quicker indexing for the all-important guest blog links. Thanks for you detailed explanation. I learned lots about this increasingly important tool. It is posts like these that make it easy for my SEO and internet marketing company to stay on top of the rapid changes so I can help my clients meet their goals. Thanks for sharing!

  • Well this sounds overly complicated…

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  • MAC Design Inc.

    Thanks a lot for the post, I have successfully implemented re+author to my company’s blog.

    Really appreciate the help!

  • No secret 🙂 You don’t need the contributor to. 

    You must only include the publisher tag in your web pages and verify.

  • Kennethblack

    You indicated adding links to the Contributor to area of Google Plus, but what about the “Links” area ?

  • Kennethblack

    Using that plugin, the author info and pic that appears at the end of each page links to domain/author/admin and then that page links to the google plus page. Why doesn’t the author bio at the bottom of each page link directly to google plus? Will all of this still identify me as the author ? Not sure where the rel=”author” comes in play?

  • Kennethblack

     Hi Don, in your google plus link above you did not include /about at the end – is it needed ?

  • Kennethblack

     What are the correct settings? When I use the Rich Snipets tool it gives me a bunch of errors. Page does not contain authorship markup. Same for publisher etc.

  • Kennethblack

     Don, what do you do with error message like:

    Warning: Missing required field “entry-title”.
    Warning: Missing required field “updated”.
    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”.

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  • I’m implementing this right now,
    Cool concept from Google,and your article is very complete and clear, Thanks Dan.

  • Hi Don,
    This is by far the most detailed explanation of how to go about getting yourself listed in the Google search results using the rel=author tag. I just wanted to say a big “thank you” to you for guiding us through this process, and you’ll be pleased to know that a computer novice like myself was able to do this without the help of anyone technical, and that is saying something! I am now listed in the search results and it took about 10-15 days, which is about the time it takes Google to periodically crawl my site.
    Thanks again!
    David Novak

  • Your article is very useful, but getting a bit difficult for me as I am blogging on with very little knowledge of codes…Any help Sir?

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  • Fantastic article Don! 
    It was very helpfull and i used it word by word to set up the AuthorTag on our news site. And all went perfectly – while checikng webmaster tools – all was ‘green’ and verified 🙂 

    A big thank you!sincerely,Sinisa Sharairi

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  • Peter Moore


    Followed the link code exactly but could not get it to work – just came up with page not found?


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  • Lizard Juice

    I was able to use this. I blog for the business I work for. I linked it to my personal google+ page which I also use professionally. This is a great tip. And if I can figure it out, anyone can. Thanks! 🙂

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  • Mike Irving

    A great guide for authorising both the Author and the Publisher. I am all up and running now, I think. Thank you.

  • Mike Irving

    A great guide for authorising both the Author and the Publisher. I am all up and running now, I think. Thank you.

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  • This is super great. Thanks for the tip and good explanation.

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  • Mannu Jain

    Very nice information. Bookmarked it after reading.Thanks for sharing

  • Kristi Allen

    I have tried adding the re=publisher to my company’s blog pages and have verified that it does link to my Google+ business page. However, when I test it using the Rich Snippets Tool, it says that authorship is not working. Can you go more in-depth about doing this on business pages?

  • paul
  • paul

    so I have a g+ profile and a page can I use the <link rel="author" pointing to my page (my company name) rather than my profile?

  • paul

    that’s what I was trying to ask

  • Penny Bergstrom

    When I linked my site under Contributor, the “” didn’t show up. It just goes straight to my website. Any suggestions?

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  • Thank you this is great information.

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  • WallTech

    Thanks for sharing Don. Can i have a copy of this article for my blog ??

  • I am lost. This post and other posts say that the syntax is href=”GooglePlus Link” rel=”author”, yet I read a Google post that says that the syntax is:
    href=”GooglePlus? rel=author”

  • I implemented this on my site and of course, I am still not seeing my image pop up.

  • aishwarya aishu

    thanks for the kindful info.

  • Does this work with pages instead of profiles? I had google authorship and then google emailed me and gave me unique url for my google+ PAGE since then my google authorship has vanished and I have no image. I would love to link the image on my about me page to my google + profile but not sure how to do the html.

    Also, some sites say it is important to include a byline on your blog posts, and for the byline to link to the google+ page/profile. On blogger my byline automatically goes to my profile NOT my page, I am very confused and really need some solid clear easy help as so many sites with conflicting info and I am not sure where to begin now. I hope you can help, thanks in advance

  • Ly Heang

    Hi admin, i was wondering about when i log in to my own account it show a good good snippet and after that i logged out nothing show only a link to my google plus. Need your help ?

  • Gaurab

    Hi Don, I blog at and have a single author blog but I allow guest authors to blog, they blog through their own account so does that make my blog as mutiple author blog?

  • Google keeps changing the rules, one day guest blogging is important seo strategy, the next not so much. Is this going to change as well?

  • i test my link rich snippet testing tool after completing all process and in snippet testing tool my profile pic is shown in result but if i search in goole my link than my pic is not show in results what can i do?

  • I have spent days trying to get the authorship markup to work on my site. Google says to put the rel=”author” at the end of the attribute, so I did, but mark-up showed not valid! When I noticed the rel=”author” attribute was at the beginning in your article, I tried it. It Works! I now have google authorship mark-up. Thank you so much for this valuable information!

  • Hi Don well said how important the tags are. This way it will increase the users. Keep posting more.

  • Tessa

    I just did this! Hopefully i did it correctly and it will show up in a week or so!

  • Thank you for sharing, I really appreciate your help.

  • Frances Suzanne

    You should update this article because this is dead now (since 2013).