Have you noticed the pictures of authors beside Google search results? These Rich Snippets are displayed by the newly released rel=author tag supported by Google. In order to support this feature, you need to set up a profile in Google+, and then insert rel=author beside your author link into your website templates.
Identity is important
In the past, the authority of the website was a key component to a siteÛªs search engine rankings. But thanks to Google+, the company is now developing an entire identity layer where the authority of the author plays an important role in the final search result. For example, a writer whoÛªs circled by thousands of people might have more authority than someone whoÛªs circled by a handful. Who wrote the article is very important, and some interesting experiments are proving this out.
ItÛªs not just about the authority of the author, but also the strength of the personal connections between you. So, people who you interact with might show up higher in the search results. This is the new functionality of Google Search Plus Your World.
Getting rel=author into your WordPress site
ItÛªs relatively straightforward to hack your WordPress templates, but it gets complicated when you have a multi-author blog, where each authorÛªs articles need to link to their appropriate Google+ profiles. So for example, all the articles written by me would show my picture, and all the articles by Alex would show his picture.
So, we made a WordPress plugin to make it easy.
If you want to enable it for your WordPress website, just do the following:
- Create a Google+ profile for each author who will contribute to your blog. For example, hereÛªs mine.
- Each author needs to edit their profile to list the website in the ÛÏContributor ToÛ field. See how IÛªm a contributor to Universe Today, Astronomy Cast, Keyword Strategy, etc. This step is very important to close the loop.
- Install the plugin. ItÛªs easiest to go to Plugins -> Add New -> and then search for ÛÏGoogle authorship for multiple authorsÛ in your WordPress admin.
- Each author needs to update their WordPress User profile and put a link to their Google+ profile.
- ItÛªll take time for Google to reindex your pages, but if you want to test it out, copy-paste your URL using GoogleÛªs Rich Snippets Testing Tool.
Please note, this is the version 1.0. ItÛªs working great for our own websites, but please let us know if you find any bugs.
This is free, no Keyword Strategy account required.