UPDATE: It appears that Google is withdrawing support for Google Authorship, so it seems likely they will eventually drop the feature altogether.

Want to know how to set up Google Authorship the foolproof way? Supposedly you can “easily” sign up for it if you have an email address on the domain where your work is posted. So, for this site, I’d need an email address ending in @wolfplain.co.uk and a Google+ profile. Check and check. Could I get it to work? No siree Bob. I spent far too long faffing about, changing my name on this blog to exactly match the one on my profile, adjusting my headshot, adding extra bylines et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, but all to no avail.

I finally gave up on the “easy” method and instead linked each piece of my content to my Google+ profile. Easy as pie. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Set up a Google+ profile if you haven’t one already.
  2. Add a good headshot, with some space around your head. No arty selfies please.
  3. Go to the Contributor To section of your Google+ profile and add the name and URL of the website to which you contribute.
  4. Edit the piece of content (blog post, article etc) and add the following somewhere on the page. I’ve added mine to the bottom of each page. Written by <a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/yourgoogle+IDnumber?rel=author”>Your Name</a> You can find your Google+ ID number by right clicking your name on any of your Google+ posts.
  5. Then use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure you’ve done it all right. Grin manically, especially if you spent half the day trying the easy method first.
  6. Repeat for all your articles, wherever they may reside. Remember to repeat #3 if they are on other websites.

Why would you want to set up Google Authorship? Several reasons. You’ll get statistics on how your content is appearing in Google searches, improved visibility in searches, your content will look more “official” and trustworthy, and you’ll be able to connect with readers more easily. When your content appears in searches, it will look like this and readers can discover more of your content by following you on Google+.

ga exampleIf you want to try the easy method to set up Google Authorship, be my guest. I’d love to hear if and how you manage it. I’m still annoyed that I couldn’t get it to work and if I can figure out why, it would make my day.

Written by Rebecca “Ribs” Susiaho

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