Have you ever searched Google for something and seen that some of the authors have their photos next to their articles? Or maybe searched for a person, and got their facts listed in a neat little box to the right side of the screen? This, is due to Google Authorship.

Today let’s go over how to make sure Google authorship is working for you. While you of course cannot guarantee that you’re going to pop up next to your articles, there are ways to verify that you have things setup correctly and that’s what we’re going to go through here.

The first steps to verifying your authorship for Google Plus

First, make sure the name on your Google profile matches the author name used on the sites that you write for. And make sure your profile picture is a somewhat professional looking headshot. In other words, keep it well lit, appropriate, and clear.

As shown in the video, you want to make sure that this is setup before everything else. Again, your name should be displayed exactly as it is on the content you’re writing.

On the “about” section of your Google Plus profile, it is absolutely crucial that every domain that you contribute to or write for is listed under the “contributor to” section. By having this as well as the details mentioned below, Google makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible for anyone else to claim authorship on your content.

The steps to take on the writing side of things

When it comes to the content itself, you want to make sure you have a link to your Google plus profile. However, you don’t just want an ordinary link. You want something like what’s shown below:

https://plus.google.com/1111111111111111111?rel=author

Note the portion of the URL, “rel=author”. This is essentially telling the Google crawler that you are linking to the Google+ profile with the intent to claim authorship.

When you don’t need a link on your content

Some sites will add code to the HTML of the site to automatically include your link in the “head” tags, which is just as effective. This is a good option for use on your own sites; that way you don’t have to add your authorship link to every post or article that you write. If you are “templating” of course this doesn’t matter.

Some sites you contribute to include this by default, just make sure to check prior to your contributions.

How to verify your Google Authorship is working properly

So perhaps the most important part about this whole thing is verifying that all of the above steps were done correctly. A quick way is to see how a URL of a piece of content looks in Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

All you have to do is grab the URL for the post that you wrote (once it’s public) and paste it into the URL box in the tool. If the content isn’t live yet but you are able to see a preview you can also copy all HTML for the page over to the testing tool.

Click preview and you should see your photo next to the snippet for the content. If it’s there, you are in business. If not, go over the above steps to see where you might have went wrong.