How To Add Your Google Profile Picture Next To Your Search Engine Listing (Authorship Markup)

I have noticed recently that some people are able to add their picture next to their listings in the serps. Those listings caught my attention and I actually clicked on them first, which tells me that these pages get much higher CTR.

It looks like this in the serps:

If you see a search engine listing with a picture next to it there is a higher chance that you will click that link. Of course the result must still be relevant to your searched keyword phrase, but I am sure you get the point.

I wanted to know how it’s done so that I can do it for my own blog and few other sites I have. Turns out it’s actually easy to do.

First, you need to have a Google Profile. You also have to “+1” a page to use this feature. So find a post you liked and +1 it.

There are only 2 things required on your side.

1. You need to link to the “about me” page in your blog posts. The link needs the rel=”author” tag for this to work.

2. Your “about me” page needs to have a link to your Google Profile page. Make sure to include the rel=”me” tag.

If you look up in this post and hover your mouse over my name where it says “by Pawel Reszka on” you will notice the link to my “about me” page. When you click on it you can see the link I made at the end of the post to my Google Profile page.

To activate the authorship markup feature, you will need to add the link to your “about me” page in your Google Profile.

So login to your Google account and navigate to your profile (or create one). Next, +1 a webpage or someone else’s post that you liked. Then in your profile click on “+1s” tab and then “Edit Profile” link. Here you will need to select “Show this tab on my profile”

Now just click on the “About” tab in your Google Profile and add the link to your “about me” page on your blog. Make sure to select the checkbox where it says “This page is specifically about me”

Once you have completed the above steps you can fill out this form and wait for Google to add you to their authorship markup system. I have no idea how long it takes for them to do it.

To test it and see if you did everything right you can use Google’s rich snippets tool.

Mine looks like this:

If you use Thesis theme like I do you can simply navigate to your “Display Options” tab and just choose to show your name in bylines and then link to author’s name.

Then you can just add a custom function to add a link from the author’s page to your Google Profile.

Update: Here is the custom function I use in Thesis.

function change_author_link( $link, $author_id, $author ) {
if ( 'admin' == $author )
return '';
return $link;
add_filter( 'author_link', 'change_author_link', 10, 3 );

function custom_headline_catcher() {
function custom_headline_catcher_end() {
global $thesis_design;
if ($thesis_design->display['byline']['author']['nofollow'])
$output = str_replace( 'class="url fn" rel="nofollow"', 'class="url fn" rel="nofollow author"', ob_get_contents() );
echo $output;
add_action( 'thesis_hook_post_box_top', 'custom_headline_catcher' );
add_action( 'thesis_hook_before_post' , 'custom_headline_catcher_end' );

Make sure to replace my url with your own.

How can this help you get higher search engine rankings?

The higher your CTR the more traffic you will get and your listing will go up in rankings. Google tracks how many clicks each listing gets. If you are getting more clicks then it must be more relevant in the eyes of Google. If the page also gets “+1s” then it could influence your rankings even more.

Having your profile pic next to your search engine listings is a huge advantage right now because only a few people use this feature. I am guessing this will be effective until everybody jumps on bandwagon. The day when you hit search and see almost all listings having a profile picture will be the day when it loses its effectiveness.


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