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How To Verify Google Authorship
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How to Verify Google Authorship

Are you scrolling through the search engine results and disappointed to not find your smug face sitting next to an article you've written? Well before you hit any panic buttons let's investigate and verify Google Authorship.

In order to verify Google Authorship we need to use the Structured Data Testing Tool which for sake of a second name is also known as the Rich Snippets Tool. It is with this tool that we are able to check whether a linkup between Google+ and a website is functioning correctly. After entering the URL you want to test and hitting the preview button, the generated sample data representing a search engine result will display your Google+ profile picture if you have implemented authorship correctly. If you're not seeing a profile picture then somewhere down the line something has gone wrong and you should follow these steps to implement Google Authorship once more.

  1. Open a Google+ account.
  2. Add your website to your profile links to notify Google+ that you are a writing contributor to the specified domains.
  3. Place a link back to your Google+ profile on any page you wish to setup authorship for with the syntax ?rel=author amended to the end of your link.

    I recommend placing a 'Find me on Google+' link or similar in the footer of your website if you are using a content management system.

    Remember - if you are a WordPress user then you can find a plugin that will invisibly perform the linkup for you. This functionality is a feature of WordPress SEO by Yoast of which I believe is an essential plugin for any WordPress installation.

  4. Ignore all of the above and enforce Google Authorship through email verification.

It is important to note that although you may follow through on the steps to implement Google Authorship for your website appearing in search results, it does not necessarily ensure that your listings will have a 100% strike rate. Even if the Structured Data Testing Tool (Rich Snippets Tool) is reporting that everything is functioning correctly, Google does not automatically add your profile picture to all results. Nobody quite understands why this is so and there are no definite steps you can take to ensure that you always reap the benefits of attracting more eyeballs to your listing by putting face to name. Trying to be socially active on Google+ and building strong numbers of followers may make give you more authority and increase your chances but this is just my suspicion. Looking at Google Authorship as a search result bonus should ensure you don't obsess too much over it.

Happy Googling!


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