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How to Get Your Headshot to Appear in Google Results—Wherever Your Content is Published

This guest post is by of WebBizIdeas.

Many people who blog want their image to appear next to their listing in Google’s search engine results (SERP) when either they publish a post, their guest contributors publish a post, or when they guest post on other sites.

What is the correct way to code your blog to ensure your content looks like this in Google.com?

SERP

First, does having this picture in the SERP results increase Click Thru Rate (CTR)? Yes.

Cyrus Shepard had a great blog post on SEOMOZ about how just changing his picture increased CTR by 35%!

Imagine the increase in your blog’s traffic if every blog post you write has your picture next to it.

Where is your content located?

So what are the steps that you need to take in order to get an author picture next to all your blog content, wherever it’s published? The steps you take depend on these three questions:

  • Is your content on a single author site?
  • Is your content on a multiple author site?
  • Is your content on a site you don’t own?

Content on a single author site

If you own a blog and only you post on it, here are the steps to follow to get your image to appear in Google’s search results:

  1. Log into your Google+ account.
  2. Click Edit Profile.
  3. Click Contributor To. You’ll see this page:
    contributor to box
  4. Add a custom link (Blog homepage) with a label (Blog Name).
  5. Click Save and then Done Editing.

Next, option 1, drop this code into the <head></head> of your website:

<link rel=”author” href=”YOURGOOGLE+URL” />

Note: You need to change the “YOURGOOGLE+URL” to the URL of your Google+ profile, like this, for example:

<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/117792845748456348623/” />

Or, option 2, add an author bio plugin to your blog so that an author bio section appears at the bottom of each post. It should look something like this:

Bio

Next, link to your Google+ profile with the text “Google+” in this way:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/(number)?rel=”author”>Google+</a>

Note that you need to change the link in the example above to your Google+ account information. If you just link to your profile and don’t add this, Google will not trust that it’s really you. Why do they trust it if you add this code? Because only people who have access to their own website should be able to add that code.

So change the (number) to the number that appears in your Goolge+ URL, like this:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/104880783618418200291?rel=”author”>Google+</a>

Where does that 21-digit code come from?

If you go to your Google+ profile, and look in the URL, you will see your unique, 21-digit number:

the code

Content on a multiple author site

If your content is published on your blog, along with posts by other writers, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Google+ account.
  2. Click Edit Profile.
  3. Click Contributor To.

    multi-contributor blog

  4. Add a custom link (Author Bio Page) with a label (Blog Name).
  5. Click Save and then Done Editing.
  6. Create an author bio page (like this example author bio page).

Now, link to your Google+ profile from that author bio page using the text “Google+” in this way:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/(number)” rel=”me”>Google+</a>

Note: You need to change the link in my example to your Google+ account information. If you only link to your profile, and don’t add this, Google will not trust that it is really you. Why do they trust it is you if you add this code? Only people who have access to their own website should be able to add that code.

Here’s an example:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/104880783618418200291” rel=”me”>Google+</a>

Then, link your name on each content page to the author bio page in the following way:

<a href=”AUTHORBIOPAGE” rel=”author”>Jeff Foster</a>

Note that here, you need to change “AUTHORBIOPAGE” to your author bio page URL. Plus, you need to change “Jeff Foster” to your name in the example above.

So here’s the example code:

<a href=”http://www.webbizideas.com/author/jefffoster” rel=”author”>Jeff Foster</a>

Where do you link your name?

Everywhere. If you have the author’s name on top of the post, in the author bio, or even in a “More articles by” box, you should link using rel=author to tell Google that the linked page is the author’s bio page.

Linked name

linked name in bio

Content on another site

  1. Direct the blog owner to step #2 above. Remind them that if they do not start publishing content from real, Google-verified people, Google may consider the content to be of lower value than that on other sites—or even penalize them.
  2. Add <a href=”https://plus.google.com/(number)?rel=”author”>Google+</a> to the author bio section of the page or somewhere in the body content.
  3. Log back into Google+.
  4. Click Edit Profile.
  5. Click Contributor To.
  6. Add the website you have posted your guest post on. To verify your code is correct, use the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool.

Is your picture appearing alongside your search results?

It’s not hard to make sure your image appears in the search results, and as we’ve seen, this can increase clicks to your articles—whether on your blog or someone else’s.

Have you made these changes to your blog yet? Let us know in the comments. Also, if you’re a visual learner take a look at the a video and infographic tutorial I made to reflect the information in this post.

is the owner of WebBizIdeas, an SEO, social media marketing and website design firm. Visit his seo resource center for more helpful tutorials on how to promote your business online.

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Comments

  1. Sudip says:

    Thanks. I have done what you mentioned.

  2. Abhishek says:

    I tried almost everything but it is not coming up. Will give a try to these methods and I am sure one of them will work for sure. It also takes too much of time to show images in search and once it is there it also shows only with few articles. I am gonna try this and will post my comment again.

    • Jeff Foster says:

      Hi Abhishek,

      Did it work now? Many times you just need to time for Google to pick it up. Also, are you logged in or out of Google when you try to find it?

      Jeff

  3. Alan Johnson says:

    Thank you so much, was wondering how to add extra authors to our blog, didn’t think about using google+!
    How long does it take for the author picture to appear?

  4. Rahul says:

    its a great tutorial this is very helpful in seo and increase our blog google rank thanks for sharing..

  5. Earl says:

    Nice tutorial! Will try this in the near future, after I get to change my picture to a more – ahem – respectable one. Thanks!

  6. Alan Reeves says:

    Great tutorial. I hope this helps more people get things setup on their sites. I have been doing this for a while and find it hit and miss at times. It seems like some of my pages show my picture but other do not. All are setup the same way. When I check using the Rich Snippet tool, it shows up correctly.

    Also, my Google+ profile did not show my picture in the search results but I was able to link it back to itself and now, my picture shows up. Has anyone else had a problem with their picture not showing up for their Google+ profile?

  7. hamza says:

    No, I’ve not made these changes yet, but will for sure make it ryt now, as the benefits are immense, and i think rather than investing more and more in seo, doing right your current seo work will be awesome strategy.

  8. Good one Jeff,

    The timing is good as well. Recently the top dog at google just released a book where reportedly he is predicting irrelevancy for links without images.

    This will make google search like ebay or craigslist, no image no click.

  9. Ravi says:

    Does this mean that applying Authorship Markup for Blog can improve search results visibility? Also can new PR update influence search results for blog?

    • Jeff Foster says:

      Yes,

      Eric (Google) just made this statement:

      “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
      – Eric Schmidt [1]

  10. Celine says:

    Great Post, The rich snippet tool is great to test Review micro format data. I am wondering how long until this get’s abused.

  11. Mike says:

    If you’re using Yoast SEO plugin, this is already included on the settings. Just put your G+ profile on the profile page and choose which author to integrate, thanks for the post! This is helpful to us!

  12. This is really a very good tutorial and will definitely help the seo’s. Thanks for sharing this wonderful stuff.

  13. Adeel Qayum says:

    A simpler way is to just use a Google authorship plugin.

  14. Jon Rhodes says:

    Sorry if I sound a bit daft, but how exactly do you add rel=author to your name?

  15. Fran says:

    Hi, this is a great tutorial, thank you!

    I was able to follow it through the Google+ steps but when I added the link of code
    under the of my Blogger (blogspot.com) blog, I receive a code error message.

    Is this code not meant for Blogger blogs? Might there be a workaround?

    Thank you very much.

  16. Javier Vega says:

    Thank you Jeff,

    This tutorial is very clear, and helped me so much. Now I think that works with my author’s image.

    Thank you again, great article.

  17. Sam Hosseini says:

    Any idea how to do this for companies? You are not allowed to create a personal G+ profile under company name, so would this be possible at all?

  18. prince says:

    having your picture appear along in search engine will give it and opportunity of getting clicked the most, and it will likely be the most noticed post there
    thanks for this article

  19. Jeremy Binns says:

    Thanks for a great tip. Does anyone know how fast this typically starts showing up in search engines?

    I’m wondering if it’s an instantaneous change or if there is a delay due to caching of some kind.

    Thanks again, who doesn’t love seeing their own face everywhere. :)

  20. This has become all the more important lately and I have done this for all of the sites that I write for, even sites you guest post for now some request that you add their site to your Google+ writing profile if you plan to guest post more frequently than once a month. Combine this with star ratings microdata for when you do product/service reviews and you can create SERP results listings that stand out. I also have this setup for all my authors so that their pages/posts show their profile.

  21. Raiyan Adam says:

    Timely post.. I was looking for this. Thanks Jeff

  22. daniel says:

    Wow! What an epic post.

    This post really helped me–I’ve been waiting for this

    Thanks for pointing this out

    Daniel

  23. How do I know if I have set it up successfully? Are my head shots supposed to appear in ALL my articles in the SERPs?

  24. Ameet Kaur says:

    Got few new tips from here. Just want to say something about your post! I am really impressed by it. I hope to catch more such interesting ideas.

  25. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for featuring me. As you outlined, adding the Google authorship code to your author profile is really simple and the payoff of having your photos appear next to your articles in SERPs is well worth it.

  26. Gagan Masoun says:

    Hello Sir,

    I have done all above steps and checked my blog with Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool. But my profile is not showing in Google search,.. Please advice..

    Thanks
    Gagan Masoun

  27. Jeff Foster says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your comments. I have noticed that Google is displaying my headshot if I search for “Headshot appear in google”

    Do you see that too?
    I linked from my Google+ account to this specific page since there is no Author Bio Page for me on this site.

    Seems like it worked like a charm :)

    Jeff

  28. Hi,

    Great article. When I go into my Google+ account – I cannot locate “Click Contributor To”. Can you advise why and what to do.

    Thanks.

    Csilla