In a previous post I explained how to create a Google+ account for your business. In this article, I’ll show you how to set up Google Authorship linked to your Google+ account. Google Authorship displays your Google+ profile link and image next to articles and posts you publish on the Internet — a great way to build recognition and visibility throughout search results.
Use the following steps to set up Google Authorship for your business as soon as possible. If it seems too complicated or time-consuming, then hire a professional to do it for you because it’s that important!
1. Sign in to Google+. If you don’t already have a Google+ account, refer to “Creating a Google+ Account.”
2. Click on your name in the upper-right hand corner of your screen, and from the dropdown menu click “View Profile.”
3. Look at the URL of the page. You should see a string of digits between two of the forward slashes, something like this:
This is your Google+ Profile ID.
4. To include a link to your particular Google+ Profile in blogs and other articles you author, add to your signature HTML code in the following format: <a href="GOOGLE+PROFILE-URL" rel=”author”> YOUR-TEXT-HERE </a>
Following the example from Step 3, the HTML code would look like this: <a href="https://plus.google.com/108710332136966440321" rel="author"> Chris' Google+ profile</a> This replaces GOOGLE+PROFILE-URL with the URL from the sample View Profile page, and replaces YOUR-TEXT-HERE with alternative text — in this case “Chris’ Google+ profile.”
(Note: If the website on which you post articles uses the Wordpress content management system [CMS] and you have administrator rights, see Step 6, below, for an easy method to implement the code.)
5. The last thing you need to do is to reference in your Google+ profile the sites on which your articles appear.
5.1 Return to your Google+ profile, and click the “About” tab of your page.
5.2 Near the top of the page, click the “Edit Profile” button.
5.3 Click the region of your profile labeled “Links.”
5.4 In the menu that appears, click “Add Custom Link.” Paste the URL of the homepage of the website on which your article posts exist, and add a fitting label.
5.5 Go to the “+1’s” tab, and checkmark the box next to “Show This Tab on Your Profile.”
5.6 Press the “Save” button, then the “Done Editing” button at the top of your profile.
6. Tip for Wordpress websites: If the website on which you post articles uses the Wordpress CMS, and you have administrator rights, there’s an easier way to implement the HTML code:
6.1 Login to your Wordpress Administrator account so that you are at the Dashboard.
6.2 On the left panel, scroll down and press the “Users” link.
6.3 Find and click the link to the profile options for the user for whom you would like to set up Google authorship.
6.4 Scroll to the “Biographical Info” section and paste the Google code inside the field.
6.5 Press the “Update User” button.
A link to your Google+ profile will occur everywhere that biographical information is displayed — chiefly in the user’s signature after an article post.
It may seem a bit tricky, but it’s not all that difficult, and it’s worth the effort in the end. Again, Google Authorship recognition means your Google+ profile photo and name will show up alongside links to articles you’ve published in Google search results. Also, any articles posted to the websites you’ve linked will appear under the Google +1’s tab of your profile. For more information, you may also refer to Google’s Help section.
—Chris Marentis is founder and CEO of Surefire Social, a local Internet marketing company.