How to setup Google authorship in WordPress in 7 steps

Setting up Google Authorship in WordPress

Google authorship in search results

Your identity and trustworthiness as a publisher and author is fast becoming a vital part of your ranking with the lord of searches.

That’s why Google created authorship.

It’s yet another way that Google is putting emphasis on relevance and quality content.

NOTE: Even if your authorship verifies in the Google snippets testing tool it may not show up in search results straight away.

This feature is being rolled out gradually, and ranking will be implemented algorithmically, so author information will not always display in search results. ~ Google

What are the benefits of Google authorship?

1. Your profile image shows up in search results, which look more personal and increases click-through rates.

2. When a user clicks on an authored link, reads their content for about three minutes and then clicks on the back button on their browser, Google adds three additional links to articles underneath the initial one.

3. Users can click on more articles by the author just by clicking on their name within Google results.

4. Google are sure to progressively make authorship more important in the rankings, to help better determine relevancy.

Read the official page on authorship here.

How to setup Google authorship in WordPress

1. Create a Google+ Profile that uses your full name and a clear profile image of your face.

Google plus profile image

A clear portrait image. Not an awesome Astronomer (unless you are one!)

2. Click the Edit Profile button and complete your Google plus profile. Most of this is accessible in the About section.

Fill out your profile and contact information, including other social networks you’re connected to.

Other Profiles - Google plus

Help Google to see you have authority in your field

Add the sites that you author for into the Contributor to section.

Contributor To-Google plus

Check your URLs!

Click the +1’s tab while in edit mode and tick the Show this tab on your profile box.

plus ones on Google plus

3. Sign-up for Google authorship here, by verifying your email address. It must use the same domain as your blog URL. e.g.

Verifying that email will add it to your Google plus profile. You may want to change the visibility if that address to private here.

edit work emails google plus

4. Make sure the SEO for WordPress plugin by Yoast plugin is installed and activated.

Not sure how to install a new plugin? Read more here. You can read more about on-page SEO and the Yoast plugin for WordPress here.

5. Add your Google+ profile URL to the Google+ field in your WordPress profile at Users >> Your Profile.

To find this, click the profile button on the left-side of Google + and copy the URL from your browsers address bar.

profile button Google plus

Google plus profile URL

Add-Google + profile link

The Google+ and Twitter fields are added by the SEO for WordPress plugin

For this to work, the name on your Google+ profile must exactly match your profile page in WordPress.

Genesis Users!

If you’re using the Genesis framework you will already have an SEO system in place and have no need to install the Yoast plugin.

Log into your WordPress and go to Genesis >> Theme Settings >> Header and Footer Scripts

Paste the code below into the head section, replacing your Google+ Profile URL:

<link rel="author" href="">


6. In WordPress go to SEO >> Titles & Metas and on the Home tab choose the main site author in the Author highlighting drop-down.

Author Highlighting - SEO for WordPress

7. Check that authorship is working with the Google rich snippets tool by entering your blog URL home page, or a specific article link you have authored.

Google profile author testing

Don’t worry about error messages below this section, they’re unrelated to authorship.

NOTE: You can check, and edit the posts that authors have created by going to Posts >> All Posts in WordPress.


Three weeks after implementing this I’ve finally started seeing authorship show up in Google results. But only on some articles. Ahh the mysterious Google algorithm. :-)

Free WallPaper Backgrounds - Authorship results

If you had any trouble with this implementation, or just want to share your shiny new Google+ profile, please do so in the comments. :-)

You can also join the WordPress Tribe Google+ page here.

24 Responses to “How to setup Google authorship in WordPress in 7 steps”

  1. Gail Armstrong December 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I don’t see my photo when I search for my blog on Google, as you said may initially be the case, but I am also getting errors when checking it with the rich snippets tool.

    In the extracted structured data area, below each post, it says:

    Warning: Missing required field “updated”.
    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”

    Not sure what that means or how that might effect my photo showing up or my Google authorship in general. Do you have any idea?

    • Herrin December 23, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      HI Gail. Those errors are other rich-snippets elements that don’t apply to the authoring process.

      Looks like you’ve done it all correctly to me.

      Some people are reporting months before this starts actually showing up in Google results.

      Like most blogging and business it’s a building process and at least you have reported yourself to Google as an author and publisher.

      Well done!

      • Gail December 23, 2012 at 3:54 am #

        Thanks! I always hate it when I see error code, so I feel better now. :) I am really enjoying your web site, by the way. I never would have known about Google authorship if I hadn’t stumbled upon your blog. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge!

        • Herrin Larkan December 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

          Thanks for the feedback Gail. You have a beautiful and simple blog site by the way. It puts maximum focus on your personal writing style.

          Keep going and finding the passion!

  2. Kaye December 23, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Hello Herrin,

    I have a Genesis theme which already has its own SEO package. When I go in to copy the Google + link in my profile, Jabber/Google talk is listed not Google +. I’ve followed every other step and when check the rich snippet tool, it says I’m not authored. Help


    • Herrin Larkan December 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

      Hi Kaye

      I’ve updated the article to include the Genesis framework.

      Let us know how you go.

      Cheers :-)

      • Kaye December 24, 2012 at 6:51 am #

        Thank you!

  3. Leigh Robshaw December 24, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Very clear instructions, thanks Herrin!

  4. Sofie February 19, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    Worked like a charm!
    I’ve been looking a bit for a tutorial on this, but none of the ones I found included anything on Yoast.
    Long live Yoast:)

    • Herrin Larkan February 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      Yeah this being a WordPress focused site we can afford to incorporate the best plugins into the tutorials, and Yoast’s certainly is that. Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Stephen March 5, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Have followed everything to the letter – thank you, you are very clear in your instructions!
    But wordpress isn’t giving me the option to add my google+ url :(

    • Herrin Larkan March 5, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      To get that Google+ option to show up on your Users Profile page you need to activate the SEO for WordPress by Yoast plugin first.

      WordPress plugins:

      Once you have done that visit Users >> Your Profile and enter your personal Google+ profile link in there and you should be good to go!

      Email us or reply if you have any other issues. cheers.

  6. dan Ramthun March 9, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    After trying three other methods for Google+ Authorship without success, I found your post. You have clear step by step instructions, but even after going through them several times the authorship testing result shows that my page does not contain authorship markup. Have any thoughts???

    • dan Ramthun March 9, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      False alarm, it was only not working for my home page, but works for the rest of my pages.

      • Herrin Larkan March 9, 2013 at 9:04 am #

        On the Yoast plugin, If you go to SEO >> Titles & Metas and click the Home tab, look for the author highlighting section.

        As long as the other parts are done first when you click that drop-down you can select the author data to show for the homepage as well.

        Thanks for your comments!

  7. Paul Strachan March 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Herrin, I’m new to google authorship and I’m not sure if Ive set it up correctly. Everything seems to be ok when I check the rich snippets tool expect one error is showing:
    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”

    Will this affect it? What can I do to fix this,
    Thanks in advance!

    • Herrin Larkan March 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      As long as you see that top author section green as shown in the screenshot above you should be good to go.

      Those errors you mention are unrelated to the authorship process that we’re talking about here. It’s a bit misleading unfortunately. I get exactly the same errors and I am seeing authorship in Google search results now.

      Thanks for commenting and happy WordPressing! :-)

  8. Pankaj May 21, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    is there a way to verify for individual google pages?? rather than profile page

    • Herrin Larkan May 21, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Every post on WordPress must have an author. It refers to that author to determine the authorship data, then presents that in the search results, after some time. You can have this setup for different sites – each one will need to be entered in the contributor section in Google +.

  9. Monica June 8, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    I’have try so many times… and nothing. Please Herrin take a look on my site I make my personal profile as author and comapany profile as publisher. But i don’t see any images in the search results. in snippets testing tool i see publisher and author but…
    please take a look and help. Monica
    thank U

    • Herrin Larkan June 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Your author information is showing up properly in the tool so it’s probably just a matter of time before it starts reflecting in the search results themselves.

      What you could do is fill out more of your Google+ profile and start interacting with your target audience a little.

      It took about 2 months to start seeing it working for this site and even then it wasn’t all at once.

      Frustrating I know but who can know the minds of the big Google.

      • monica June 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

        it’s true. who knows minds of Google. after 10 days i see resuluts with my photo. 😉 one day after my post here :)

  10. Lawrence December 10, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    I went through this process for but I want to have a similar process for which is simply a page with nothing in it and is used for the menu as a place holder for the blog. Anything I can do?

    • Herrin Larkan December 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      Your authorship data is showing up on your home page, pages and individual blog articles so all is working fine.

      If you’ve created a page called Blog that is where the summaries are, you might want to check that the pages author is correct. Navigate to Pages >> All Pages and check that the /blog/ url page has you as an author.

      It’s a minor thing though because this page probably doesn’t show up in results very often.

      You’re doing great and great content too!

      Writers rock!

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