I’m sure you’ve seen the results… smiling faces next to search results. Have you wondered how to get your smiling face next to your content in the search results? It’s called Google Authorship Markup and it’s pretty easy to do.
Not only is there a little smiling face next to the article about Yext, but there’s also the “by Joanne Marcinek” link that, when clicked, leads to a listing of all my verified content. And there are the stats on how many people have the me in their Google+ circles.
The first step is to get a profile setup on Google+. That is your author profile. You can join Google+ Authorship by going to https://plus.google.com/authorship.
Once you have a profile (with a recognizable headshot), the next step is make sure the content you’ve written has a byline with the same name as your Google+ Profile (eg. by Joanne Marcinek).
Next, verify that you have an email address with the same domain as your content (eg. firstname.lastname@example.org). If you use a different email address (like email@example.com) there’s another method for verification.
The second method involves a bit more coding and requires that you add a link to your code like this:
<a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202? rel=author">Google</a>
Once you’ve verified your email , or added the authorship markup code, check if you’ve got things setup properly with Google’s structured data testing tool: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
By putting in your website address in the testing tool, you will get a “report” back of whether Google is recognizing the authorship markup on your site:
That’s it. Pretty simple, but very powerful. Having Authorship Markup on your content can help you establish authority in your field, it helps people to recognize who you are and gives them the opportunity to easily follow you on Google+ or connect with you in other ways.