How Google’s Authorship Markup affects SEO

Google Authorship

Rel=”author” is Google’s authorship markup where authors link their page content on their Google profile. Google’s authorship markup is one of the most popular on site optimization factors. It shows up in the search engine results page as an eye-catching picture, it connects all your published works, it leverages trust in you as an author and much more. So how does it affect SEO?

Leveraging Trust in the SERPs as an Author

Putting a Rel Author tag in all of your published posts would mean that you’re putting your reputation on the line. People will see who published this entry right from the search engine results page.

1) They will be able to see your picture as an author

Google Authorship pic


Update: Google had removed all author photos and Google+ view counts from search results both from desktop and mobile. Although this update had rocked many SEO specialists, it doesn’t mean you have to stop implementing authorship markup. It still helps with author credibility, and maybe one day with author rank.

2) How many people are following you on Google+

Google Authorship Followers

3) What other articles you’ve written

Google Author Written articles

It is a direct connector to who you are as an author. The more information of yourself as an author you give out to the public, the more trust you will be able to gain. Of course, this means that you shouldn’t publish sucky, negatively controversial content that might hurt your reputation as an author.

Increased Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Consequently, having your authorship information publicly out in Google’s Search engine results page can lead to a higher click-through rate. People like to know who wrote an article and if the article is any good. There are two clear-cut factors affecting this:

1) The number of people in circles – Because people see this immediately and if they’re wise, they would check how many people are actually following you because of what you publicly publish.

2) Your picture and smile – Who doesn’t like being smiled at? Friendly and strong-colored pictures attract attention.

Having a higher CTR can directly affect your SEO. Higher CTR means a more relevant title, description, URL – and now, your authorship tag affects it by displaying your Google+ profile picture and circles too! Here’s a case study that claims his CTR increased by 38% after implementing the Rel Author tag in his entries.

Checking out Other Published Entries

Clicking on the ‘More by(author name)’ link on the SERP snippet will take the user to a page where all of the author’s other published entries are displayed. This means that the user can check out your vertical mastery of your topic, your writing voice in your other published articles, other websites where you write in, etc.

Google Authorship More


Know what this means? This means that if the person likes your stuff, you can get this person to add you in his or her circles or follow you elsewhere – in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. I usually put one or two of my social profiles in my Author bio so that people can add me up.

This also means that if you have any content that sucks, they would find out.

Connector to your Google+ Profile

Having the Google Authorship markup means that people who click on your author byline in the SERPs will be taken straight to your Google+ profile page.

Google Authorship byline

Which means that they can see what you post in your Google+ stream and they can directly add you to their circles.

Google plus Page

It’s a cycle – if people add you up in their circles, your Authorship information will look better because you have more people that included you in their circles (Check out how your Google Plus Page affects SEO), you get to have more people check your Google+ page out  plus you get to have a higher CTR to boot!

How to Implement Google’s Authorship Markup:

  • Your own Google+ profile
  • About page in your website
  • A good recognizable Google+ profile photo (headshot)

Implementing Google Authorship Markup without using Email:

1) Create a link to your Google+ profile from your About page and put the rel=”me” tag in the link:

<a href=””me”>Sean Si</a>

2) Link to your About page from your published posts and put the rel=”author” in the link:

<a href=””author”>Sean Si</a>

We usually put this in the Author bio section of the page where the post is published.

3) Link to your About page from your Google+ Profile. To do this, go to your Google Plus About Page and then click on ‘Edit Profile’.

Google Plus About Page

After that, scroll down a bit and click on the ‘Contributor To’ Section to edit it.

Google Plus Contributor

Put in your About page Link in the URL text area and put in a label. I put in ‘About SEO Hacker’ in my label.

Edit Google Plus Contributor

Now that everything’s done, check if the code can be successfully read by Google. In order to do this, go to Google’s Rich Snippets Testing tool. Put in your URL in the text area and click on ‘Preview’

Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool

This will return a set of Rich Snippets data for your perusal. If your Authorship markup works properly, you will be able to see something like this:

Google Authorship Verification

If you’re seeing something like this then congratulations – you’ll be seeing your picture in your Google SERPs soon!

Implementing Google Authorship Markup via Email

Google Authorship Email Verification

  1. Check that you have an 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 Sean Si” or “Author: Sean Si”).
  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, again, use the Rich Snippets Testing tool.

Tips for Keeps: Google’s Authorship Markup affects SEO indirectly by increasing CTR and leveraging on your Google Plus profile for trust indicators. If you haven’t implemented this for your blog or website, do it now!

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  • Totally awesome article. and yes, LONG!!!

    I never noticed that Google would put someone avatar, their stats, etc.. on the web. I also heard a lot of people trust articles and blogs if the author name and picture is at the end of it.

    thanks for sharing.

  • A great and a awesome article.. A lot of people trust articles and blogs if the author name and picture is at the end of it.

  • It’s a great breakdown of benefits, plus a tutorial that even the last one can get. Google+ definitely works for me. But I’m wondering if we’re about to see a wave of internet marketers openly manipulating this attribute by setting up fake Google+ accounts with retouched photos to achieve the same results without putting their face on the line.

  • Such a nice post! wisely elaborated. Even I have not used this techniques before but definitely try this on my next blog. Thanks Mr. Sean for sharing this post.

  • Ayyapillai

    Thanks for the great information

  • So glad Google is moving forward with this. Hopefully people will get the idea and focus more on quality writing and less on producing tons of crappy content.

  • Great Article, Sean! I was able to easily follow the steps you wrote. Looks like it’s working fine with the verification procedure you mentioned.

  • katherin

    Such an informative post..
    Lot of new information’s here,its really useful..thanks for sharing your post along with related helpful to know more about the process..

  • Hi Sean..

    No Doubt…The post is very descriptive may be helpful for SEO professionals. I got one of this single clearly defined post over Google and except Google. There could be some misunderstanding between our communication. Earlier i was not satisfied with your answer but now you shared a useful info here…Happy with you post.

  • Hey, so I’m the one that made the claim of a 38% increase in traffic that you mentioned. Thanks for the mention, by they way!

    There was quite the discussion about it on that you all might want to check out (link below). It gives some great insight into my claim and a realistic point of view.

  • robin.johnson

    Wonderful I would like to say thank you for sharing this cool article. Bookmarked and sharing for friends. 

  • Steven

    I wasn’t aware that Google’s authorship markup has an effect on seo.After reading your post,I realize that it is important in building trust to your clients and viewers.I learned so much in your post.Thanks..

  • Google’s verified author system is only going to become more important in our view. It’s not just a catchy gimmick that will improve CTR a little, I think this is the start of Google really beginning to validate links and site quality using social signals.

    Of course the role of Google+ is fundamental in all of this as well, the articles you write, the way you behave on Google+ is all going to contribute to how strong your author rank is and ultimately how well your content ranks. I believe it’s going to be essential for anyone competing in even a moderately competitive niche.

  • Really a Great Post..I enjoy a lot..This will give the many informative ideas of the post..Thanks for the nice post..Keep Sharing..

  • Good info. Why does it take so long for Google to index your website so that your Google Authorship is displayed? Maybe I’ve done something wrong but it’s been over a week and still my photo does not appear next to my listing…

  • I have implemented this to my own site just this day. However, it doesn’t yet working when I tried searching for google search results. The result has no image still but it’s already working when I tested in Google Structured Data Testing Tool. Would it not take effect eventually? Or I shold wait for just a day or days. Thanks.

    • Hi Patrick,
      It takes days, and sometimes weeks before the authorship markup takes effect. You just have to wait for it. You can check out if your rich snippet is working using the Google Rich Snippets tool

  • Excellent post Sean! A must for any author having a website and a terrific way to stand out. Of course as this becomes increasingly more standard practice, we’ll need better and better methods to stand out.

  • dennis

    Thanks a bunch. This version is way better than the normal straight to google+ version. Worked straight away.

  • Great Article, Sean! I was able to easily follow the steps you wrote. Looks like it’s working fine with the verification procedure you mentioned