Update September, 2014: Unfortunately Google Authorship has been discontinued by Google.
A recent thread on Website Babble about stolen content revealed that many people still aren’t taking advantage of Google Authorship.
No matter what you may think of Google’s dominance of the Internet, there is a big benefit to using their Authorship feature — especially while they still rule search.
As your site grows, it’s inevitable that at least one lazy person will grab a copy of your content and try to pass it off as their own.
The beauty of the authorship tag is that it links your content back to your name and website as soon as you create it.
Of course, this by no means stops people from stealing your work, but by the time the thief creates his/her copy of your article, the content will already be associated with you.
Here’s how to do it…
2. Add your websites to either the Contributor To or Links section of your profile.
3. In a common section of your website that appears on all pages (footer, header, sidebar, etc.) hyperlink your name using your Google Plus profile and the rel=”author” tag.
<a rel=”author” href=”http://plus.google.com/your_Google_Plus_ID”>Your Name</a>
A Nice Shortcut! Just recently I learned from the Yoast blog that it’s now even easier to use the authorship tag because you can add it to the <head> of your pages in your meta tags like this…
<link rel=”author” href=”http://plus.google.com/your_Google_Plus_ID”/>
Google confirmed this will work just as well as the original method.
To ensure you’ve done this correctly, check your site in the rich snippets tool. It may also take a few days for Google to sync everything up so be patient.
I should also mention there are a handful of WordPress plugins to help speed this process up as well. Just search for Google Authorship plugins to reveal them.
Linking Your Author Page to Google
Another way to prove to Google that you are the author of your content is to link all your content to your author/bio page and ensure your bio page is also in your Google Plus profile (under the Contributed To section).
Some argue this step is not really necessary, but it’s not going to hurt anything. There are a couple of ways to go about this, but here’s how I’ve done it on this blog.
1. I’ve added my About Me page to the Contributed To section on my Google Plus profile
2. My About Me page also has my name that is hyperlinked back to my Google Plus Profile
3. The About Lisa link, which is linked from every page on this site has the rel=”author” tag in the code
So if you were to view the source code on this blog, you will see that the code for my About Lisa link looks like this…
<a rel=”author” href=”http://blog.2createawebsite.com/about”>About Lisa</a>
How to Add the rel=”author” Code to Your Author Page Link
If you have an HTML site, it’s just a matter of adding rel=”author” inside the hyperlink code as shown above. But if you’re using WordPress it’s also pretty easy — especially if you’re using the menu feature.
Also, if you’re a Thesis user, Marko Saric has a great tutorial on how to setup this up. This is a good guide if you have your name in your byline of all your posts. It will automatically link it to your About Me page instead of the standard WordPress bio page.
Even if you don’t care to sync your author page with your Google Plus profile, at least add the authorship tag with your name to claim your content.
The Importance of Author Rank
Using Google Authorship markup will help you build up your Author Rank.
What is Author Rank?
It’s your individual online author reputation. So when you use Google Authorship to link your name to your content, the more that content gets shared via social media, the more it will positively impact your Google AuthorRank.
This metric will become extremely important with ranking websites in the future.