UPDATED: Set Up Authorship On WordPress

September 3, 2014 UPDATE:

Nevermind. Google has removed Authorship markup from search results. Google’s Webmaster Tools Support page on Authorship is almost abrupt about it. Google is suggesting that Rich Snippets be used appropriately in place of Authorship.

It’s not a big secret, Google really was banking on G+ to be a serious competitor to Facebook. Thing is, no one really bought in to it as much as Google had hoped. But Google had a couple tricks up its sleeve, like integrating YouTube accounts with Google+ accounts – which the internet did not like very much. For content producers hoping to get their articles to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), they can Set Up Authorship On WordPress with Google+. Google Authorship

Schema.org is a partnership of major search engines that sets standards for Structured Data Markup. This collaborative effort to set universal standards ensures that web masters and publishers can “get the maximum benefit for their efforts.  To set up Authorship easily, you need to connect your account to a Goolge+ Profile.

Here’s How to Set Up Authorship On WordPress and Why it’s Important:

Google Authorship is a markup of Structured Data (additional information that informs search engines what your content is (article, video, recipe, etc.), who wrote it, what it’s about, and when it was written) that is complimentary to your search engine result entries.

EXAMPLE: The Structured Data elements for this result are:

Authorship Example

  • The Title Of The Post
  • The Name Of The Publishing Website
  • The URL Of The Post
  • The Name Of the Author & Google+ Information
  • The Publish Date
  • The Author’s Picture (Pulled From Google+ Profile)
  • The Meta Description

Authorship Adds Authority

Google is taking into account the “authority” of websites when determining where websites rank in returned results. Google takes many factors into account when determining a publisher’s authority, some of which authors have control over. It only makes sense to take advantage of every (ethical) opportunity to make sure your content is delivered to those who will benefit from it. One factor an author has control over is making sure he or she has implemented Structured Data as completely and accurately as possible. When an author has taking the time to make sure his or her Structured Data is as complete as possible, it’s more likely that the entry is of higher quality than a similar article without Structured Data. Although most data markups are specific to niche content (reviews, recipes, etc.), Google Authorshipapplies to all content, regardless of topic.

SERP screenshot Brownies WHICH OF THESE RESULTS WOULD YOU BE MOST LIKELY TO CLICK?

Linking Accounts

To set up Authorship properly, the proper Google+ account must be associated to the correct publishing element. Your website can be connected to a business G+ page, but your articles must be connected to a personal G+ profile.

Think of it like a newspaper. The newspaper itself is the company that is responsible for the overall structure of the publication and policies but the journalists are credited for published articles. Newspapers don’t write articles, journalists do. Google sees your website in a similar way.

Step 1

Link Your Site To Your Google+ Profile

  • Upload a clear headshot. Again, think of it like a newspaper and how a featured article includes a picture of the journalist who wrote it.
  • From the main tab area, click ‘About.’

G+About

  • Scroll down to a section titled ‘Links.’
  • Click ‘Edit.’
  • (OPTIONAL) From this section, other social media accounts can be linked to your G+ profile, such as Twitter and YouTube.
  • In the ‘Contributor To’ section, add the title and URL of your website and ensure ‘Current Contributor’ is set.
  • Click ‘Save.’

Step 2

Add Your Google+ Profile Info to Your WordPress User Profile

  • Copy your Google+ profile URL. Only copy up to the last ‘/‘

G+ URL

  • From the WordPress Dashboard, click on ‘Users’ from the left-side menu.
  • Click on the user you wish to link the G+ profile to.
  • (Optional, but a good idea) Fill in the fields that have not already been completed.

Wordpress user info

  • In the Google+ field, paste the profile URL you just copied.
  • Click ‘Update User.’

Step 3

Checking Structured Data With Google Structured Data Testing Tool

  • Enter your website’s URL.
  • If Google can detect the Authorship and Publisher markup, it will display what it is able to understand.

Structured Data Verification Screenshot

Things to Remember:

  • If the Structured Data Testing Tool is not successful in detecting Authorship, make sure all URLs are correct (make sure they start with ‘http://’) and your Google+ profile is as complete as possible, uses a clear headshot as your profile picture, and was created with and displays your real name.
  • Adding this markup does not guarantee that your picture and details will be displayed with the search results.

From Google:

“Marking up your data for rich snippets won’t affect your page’s ranking in search results, and Google doesn’t guarantee to use your markup.” Source 

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