The Answers to Your Google Authorship Questions (for Any Experience Level)

Google Authorship Issues? You’re Not Alone.


Whether you’re a rookie in the SEO world or a seasoned search pro, Google can still pitch a mean curveball every now and then.

Whether your Google update game got a little rusty from being inundated with consulting opportunities, or you need a general introduction to the feature’s functions, this post can help.

For SEO Rookies:

What is Google Authorship?

If you’re not familiar with the beginnings of Google Authorship, its history holds major implications for the future. Way back in 2005, Google filed a patent for a metric called “Agent Rank,” a way to stratify search results based on authors’ credibility.

Nine years later, it’s known simply as Google Authorship. Search results often feature an image of registered authors next to their content.

Benefits of Authorship

As Google adjusts algorithms enough to see past paid, persuaded, and irrelevantly placed links, Authorship shows more potential for becoming a big ranking factor. This will include not only the general quality and subject matter expertise of your posts, but attention to your Google+ connections and types of sites on which your posts appear.

Once you’re in the big leagues on the first page of results, links with faces beside them have been shown to draw more attention and receive more clicks.

Read about the results of an eye-tracking study on Google Authorship here.

So how do you start reaping the benefits? Read below to find out.

The Minor Leagues

How Do I Implement It?

It’s as easy as H-T-M-L. A quick tag called “rel=author” does the trick beautifully. Once you’ve posted on a site, simply add the domain to your “Contributor to:” section in your Google+ “About” page.

Read more about the details of the code and implementing Google Authorship from the brains behind the brawn themselves.

How Do I Spot Check It?

Here is a fantastic resource from our friends over at Search Engine Land. Be sure to check out the post for more insight into the subject.

Going Pro

Is Your Google Authorship Still Not Showing Up?

In the final days of 2013, Google dropped the number of rich Authorship snippets included in the first results page by about 15%. Prominent SME’s such as Moz are suggesting a link between this number and a figure provided by Matt Cutts as optimal for improvement of the feature’s use.

They ascertain from this connection that Google recognized the need to up the ante on what results would cull such a heavily influential asset and adjusted accordingly.

Frustrated? Confused? Worried your glamour shot’s painstaking selection has now been in vain?

Never fear, there are a few things you can do.

Google Publisher may be one solution, if it seems more fitting to the content you’re promoting. Another is to increase your influence by bulking up your Google+ connections and “klout” across social platforms. Try to distance yourself from less than optimal content you may have produced, and your ties to any shoddy sites that could be dimming your potential as a bright star in the SERP constellation.

For more information about increasing the likelihood that Google will feature your face for all to admire, check out our other posts. One of our newest about disavowing backlinks might be just what you’re looking for!





Search Engine Land


Our Partners & Awards