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Authorship: How to Make Your Picture Appear in Google Search

google authorship example
Want to increase your Google visibility for free? Authorship is how to make your picture appear in Google search.

It’s not some SEO trick. Google really wants you to use Author Highlighting and they’ll reward you with listings that really stand out. Some studies show that you can get 30% more visitors. Maybe even more!

Back in the day, Google results used to all look the same: text listing for #1, text listing for #2, text listing for #3….

In 2009, Google introduced the Rich Snippet, mostly showing stars next to pages that contained reviews.

This was a big deal because if your listing on Google looks different, it stands out from the others that just have the boring poor snippets and more people will likely click on your link. Inbound marketing geeks (like me) refer to the Click Thru Rate (CTR) increase that comes from optimizing your listings on Google. Add rich snippets and you could get more free traffic from Google. Nice.

In June 2011, Google started showing the mother of all rich snippets. Author highlighting allows search results to show an author’s headshot next to a results on a Google page. Google says authorship markup is a great way to help people find high quality content.

How do Authorship Rich Snippets work?

Behind the scenes, authorship is just adding a little code to your webpages and then updating your Google + profile to link to your websites. It’s fairly simple to implement in your site and can really help you get noticed.

On the search engine result page, you can get your picture next to your name, denoting you as the author with additional links to more articles written by you.

Join us for the Meetup Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:30 to learn more about this powerful tool, how to implement it into your site, and how to optimize this to your benefit.

We’ll be meeting on campus at Belmont University in McWhorter Hall, Room 114. There is ample, free parking in the Inman Center/North Garage under McWhorter.

Full details and RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Nashville-SEO-Group/events/84824842/



  1. Great piece last night. Enjoyed it and am following up on getting my authorship published.

  2. Hello Ross,
    Got my rich snippets done. Do I need to worry about the hatom-feed errors that I got when I tested it? I found instructions on what to do, but is it vital to update the post-single.php which is what’s recommended?
    Thank you,

  3. I managed to get my google+ pic showing up next to my website in google search results only three weeks after I set it up. Things were going well, but a few days after I changed the look of my website’s footer, and in so doing moved the link to my google+ page into an html table for layout reasons, the picture no longer shows up next to my site in google search results. Has the moving of my google+ link in my footer harmed my authorship markup? Or do I have to wait a bit for Google to realise that I have not deleted the link but just moved it?

    Thanks Shruti