How to Add Author Tags to Your Blog Posts

In the world of blogging, traffic is king. Many bloggers have been popping up in Google search results thanks to a new Google tool called the rich snippet. The rich snippet tool allows a small picture of you to be shown when someone googles content for which you are the author. It`s basically a little piece of HTML that a blogger can use that will allow their Google + profile picture to be connected to blog posts they create.

Why would you want to do this? It has been proven to drive traffic to your website. Studies have shown that by including this Google Authorship Markup, the traffic can increase by as much as 150 percent. The understanding is that when a picture is seen on a search engine listing, it adds credibility to the post. People naturally like to click on articles that have images attached. Have a look at the image below. Which article are you more likely to click on?

So, how do bloggers capitalize on this feature? Here are options for setting up Google Authorship Markup.

You first need to get a Google + account and then have your email verified and that the email used has the same domain name as the blog. According to Google, as long as the byline on the blog post matches the name on the Google + account, it should be able to pick it up. One thing to remember is that while Google may be all-powerful, they are not infallible. There may be cases and occasions when it doesn`t work. They should be sporadic and if you re-input the information, that should take care of it.

Option 1: Link your content to your Google+ profile using a verified email address.

Don’t have an email address on the same domain as your content? Follow the instructions listed in Option 2 below.

  1. Check that you have a email address (for example, on the same domain as your content (
  2. Make sure that each article or post you publish on that domain has a clear byline identifying you as the author (for example, “By Malika Harricharan” or “Author: Malika Harricharan”).
  3. Visit the Authorship page and submit your email address to Google. No matter how many articles or posts you publish on this domain, you only need to do this process once. Your email will appear in the Contributor to section of your Google+ profile. If you want to keep your email private, change the visibility of your link.
  4. To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the structured data testing tool.


Option 2: Set up authorship by linking your content to your Google+ profile

  1. Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:
      <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

    Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:

      <a href="

    Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.

  2. Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
    1. Edit the Contributor To section.
    2. In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
    3. If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
    4. Click Save.
  3. To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the structured data testing tool.

The next step involves visiting the contributor`s page of your Google + account. This basically tells people what websites you write for. Make an entry for your food blog and it once again should make the connection. Make the contributor link directly to your bio page on the food blog. If you don`t have an author bio page (in which case, why don`t you?) you can link directly to the post.

The three biggest problems involve people not going through the email verification process properly, not making a direct contributor link connection and not adding the tag correctly at the end. If it`s not working, try looking at those three areas and make sure everything is correct. Having this rich snippet at the end of your byline link should put your photo with the search results.

If you use WordPress, there are plug-ins such as Author Sure that will do all of this for you. You’ll still need a Google + account, but the plugin does make the process easier. What’s more, it also works if you have multiple authors on your blog. The Google Authorship Markup can be a major boon for a food blog, so next time you`re writing a new post about Rangemaster or the newest and coolest tool of the day, don`t forget to add that little extra piece of HTML.

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