Authorship – Your picture in search results

Ever wonder why some people’s faces are showing up in search results?  How do they do that? They do it by linking and then adding the Google Authorship META information to one of the links on their site.  This makes what is called a “rich snippet.”   How do you get your picture in search results? Let’s dig in.

Google Authorship

In Google search engine results pages (SERPs), they call it Google Authorship, but that’s just their name for rich snippets.  In Bing, for example, they’ll use the author’s Facebook profile picture (if linked and available).

I think you can see how much more eye-catching having a rich snippet can be in an otherwise boring SERP.  Search for an article you wrote, by title if you want.  Is your face appearing along with a “By Name – More by Name?”

How to get your picture in search results:

  1. Check to make sure you’re verified. Put the link to the post into Google’s rich snippet testing tool and see how it should display in search engines.
  2. Make the connection directly. Make sure you’re linking from your Google+ profile to a bio on your site.  Then try linking to the specific post(s) as well.  Forget rel=me and use the rel=author.
  3. Add more tags. Add ?rel=author to the end of the destination URL, like so: Find Justin on <a title="Author: Justin Downey on Google+" href="<a title="Author: Justin Downey on Google+" href="" rel="author" target="_blank">Google+</a>

There you have it.  Search meets social.  Social meets search.


Justin Downey, 06/06/2012

We should mention that Google Authorship is still very much in it’s infancy. The algorithm will likely change very soon. Get on it!

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