Google Author: How To Add Rel Me & Photo To Searches That WORKS

google auhtorHands up if you have tried to Setup Google Authorship and failed. Yes? Me too – until yesterday.  Setting up Google Authorship and getting it to work, can be very frustrating. It can make you feel like a complete idiot. I know this because I’ve just spent my entire Easter trying to crack this particular Golden Egg (think Goose that lays etc…)..what? it was Easter, OK?  

But…I finally did it, and now I can explain to you exactly how you can do it too… in 30 minutes, not in 4 frustrating days, as I did.

Here are some things you need to think about if you are serious about your blog and it’s future:

  • Do you know what Google Authorship Markup is?
  • Do you know WHY you need to get on the Authorship bandwagon…or risk getting left behind, and wondering where all your traffic went?
  • Do you know HOW to put your PHOTO on Google, so it appears next to your links in Google Searches…and WHY you should (it increases traffic, Yes!)
  • Do you know what rel=”me” and rel=”author” are, and why you must have them?
  • Do you have a Google Plus Account yet?

Importantly: do you know WHY you MUST get these jobs done, today – not tomorrow or next week?

It’s all about being nice to Daddy (Google) so he* will bring us lots of lovely new traffic for our websites and blogs.

Or more to the point, so we won’t be left stranded outside Google’s inner circle of chosen people (verified-by-Google Authors), while our competitors with Google Authorship and photos in Google searches, sail to the top of every data chart you can find.

To understand why you must set up Google Authorship, and get your Photo in search results, see my previous article: Google Authorship Explained: Why You Need It To Increase Traffic.

Please read that article first, if you don’t already know about how Google Authorship Markup works. Otherwise you will probably find this article hard to follow.  You cannot afford to ignore Google Plus and Google Authorship any longer – or you risk being left behind by your competitors. So….

This article is the step by step

Idiot’s Guide to Setting Up Google’s Authorship Markup.

Follow what I tell you here, and it will work!

Google itself, and dozens of others are online and telling people how you set up Authorship and get your Photo to show up in Google search results. Hmmm...I tried several of them (all different in the details) and I couldn’t get it to work for me. This article will tell you what finally did work… for me.

  • You will be able claim/brand/label ALL your online Content using Google Authorship Markup.
  • You WILL be able to use Google Plus to get your photo into all your Google Search Engine Results,
  • And that WILL increase your Traffic…and give you geeky bragging rights over all those non-believers.

Google Authorship Markup Linking Structure

Here is a diagram of how the component parts of Google Authorship are linked together:Authorship Link Structure

Step One: Open a Google Plus Account.

You have to open a Google Plus Account, and a Google Plus profile picture before you can get your Photo to appear in Googl search results.  Opening a Google Plus account is surprisingly easy to do. Just do a search for Google Plus and follow the prompts.

Although it is easy to open a Google Plus account, there are a few things you need to know about the best way to do this.

1. Open a Google Plus Account

Do this using an existing Gmail email account, or, open a new Gmail account if you don’t already have one. This Gogle email account is any ordinary Gmail account – your own Gmail account, not the email account of your Blog or website.

This first email account is the one you are using to access and set up the Google Plus network, for setting up Authorship.  It is not the email account that you will later be using for verification. For the verification process, you will be using the linked-to-your-website email account, later on – Step 3 below.

2. Fill out your Google Plus Profile.

  •  Add a good recognizable head shot photo of yourself.  If you haven’t already got your own Gravatar, now would be a good time to do it.
  • Fill out as much detail in your Profile, as you can.
  • Important: Try to include your Blog’s main keywords in all the sections
  • Story
  • Work
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Places

Google Plus is all about identity and verification.  People who know more about this than I do say, the 2 most important factors for showing up in Goole search results are

  • the places where your keywords appear in your Profile
  • Who you know.

3. Add & Verify An Email Address:

You will see a text box in your Google Plus Profile Page asking you to add an email address.

Important: use an email address associated with your blog.  I used The email address you choose to add into your Profile has to be one that is associated with, and identifies you to, and with, your Blog.  That is one of the ways that Google verifies the link and ties your Google Plus Account to your Blog, to your Blog’s Content, and to you.

Verifying That Email Address: Google Plus will send you a Verification Link Email that is sent to that email address. You click on their Verification Link to verify your email address.

4. Fill Out The Links Section at Google Plus.

Here is where you have to do things ‘right’.

Google+ Links_2

Go to Google Plus Profile>Links and make a Custom Link

Your ‘Contributor To Link is very important. You must enter the URL of your Blog’s About Page, not your Home Page URL. You will see why you need to do this later.

  • Type in the name of your site in the top box of the custom Link textboxes
  • Copy/paste the url of your About Page into the url box that is just below where you entered the name of your website.
  • Put a tick in the ‘This Page is specifically about me’.

If you have other places where you have online Content, e.g. Facebook etc, add the Name of the Site, and it’s URL in the box provided. You can keep creating more Custom Links if you need to.

Click Save

Here’s what the Google Plus Links section looks like after it’s saved:

G+ Links saved

So far we have

  • Opened a Google Plus Account
  • Google has Verified an Email Address that is associated with our Blog
  • We have added the URL of our ‘About’ Page to our Google Plus Profile in the section labeled Links: Contributor To.

Here is a Diagram that Shows the Structure of What We Will be Doing Next.

G+ links diag

So far, we have done the Custom Link at Google Plus. That’s the box on the far right of the above diagram.

Now we have to establish a two-way link between our Blog’s About Page and Our Google Plus Profile (with it’s custom link back to our blog’s About Page URL). We do this by adding the HTML code: rel=”me” to our Blog’s About Page. It’s a bit like love –  it has to be a 2 way thing….

I should probably mention that Google says you can claim your content with Authorship Markup by using EITHER: a verified Email Address OR by adding a rel=”author” attribute and/or a rel=”me” attribute (either/or? Both? Who knows!) I did both to get it to work, as I explain below. My Mom called this approach, the ‘belt and braces’ method, but I digress…

How To Create a Rel=”me” Link in our Blog’s About Page.

This is the link that will join your Google Plus account with your Blog – in both directions. We do this by first making sure you have included your name some where on your About Page.

It has to be the exact same name that you used to open your Google Plus Account, otherwise Google won’t know you are the same person.

1: Add a Link From Your Name on Your Blog’s ‘About’ Page To your Google Plus Profile Page.

I did this by adding the following Text to my About Page:

“Hi there, my name is Carol Manser, and I’m the owner of this blog called My Second Million. I live in Sydney, Australia, and My Second Million is my first ever blog,”

It’s a good idea to link/identify together, your domain name, your Google Plus name, your location and some keywords into that paragraph as well.

2: Hyperlink Your Name in your About Page with your Google Plus Profile URL.

Add a hyperlink onto your name, using the URL from your Google Plus Profile.  Copy paste your Google Plus url, up to the end of the numbers only, and hyperlink it into your name using the usual WordPress ‘Add a Link’ icon.

My Google Plus URL is:

The red text above is the part of the URL link, that I copied and used to hyperlink my Google Plus with my name on my About Page.

Change your WordPress Edit window from Visual to the HTML version.

3.  Add the rel=”me” tag in that link (your name).

Add the rel=’me’ link from after the last number:…. 6764”/gap rel=”me” gap target=”_blank – with a single space gap in front of it and a single space behind it.

Here’s my Code after I’d hyperlinked to Google Plus, but before I added the rel=”me” tag:

Hi there, my name is <a title=“Carol Manser Google Plus Profile” href= target=”_blank”>Carol Manser </a>and I’m the owner of this blog called My Second Million. I live in Sydney, Australia, and My Second Million is my first ever blog,

My Code after I’d added the rel=”me” tag.

Hi there, my name is <a title=”Carol Manser Google Plus Profile” href=” rel=”me” target=”_blank”>Carol Manser </a>and I’m the owner of this blog called My Second Million. I live in Sydney, Australia, and My Second Million is my first ever blog,

Alright! Now we’re cooking with gas!

4. Add your Author Byline to all Your Pages and Posts.

[‘Byline’ is a term that comes from the world of Newspapers and magazines. It is how Authors claim their Content, by showing readers which person wrote the article.  Most people use their Name as their Byline.]

Now you have to specifically label/identify, all the pages and Posts on your Blog with our own Byline.

There are 3 or 4 different ways (at least) you can do this.

Method 1.Use a Plugin You can add an Author Byline by using an Author Box Plugin. This method adds an Author Bio to all your Posts and Pages. This looks quite classy and Professional on your pages.

The best one I found was a plugin called Fanciest Author Box Plugin. It costs just $10 from Code Canyon – see the Code Canyon banner at the top of my sidebar on the right of the page.  It really does give you a very Fancy Author add-on for your Posts with a photo, links and text.

This is an easy and simple way of creating bylines on all your Content on your blog.

Method 2. Use Your Theme: Go to Appearance>Theme>Post Specifics (in the Weaver theme) and make sure the ‘Hide Post Author’ check box is unchecked. Doing that allows your name (because you are the author) to be shown as a byline on every page and post.

You do have to make sure that your displayed Blog’s Author name matches the name you used on your Google Plus Profile.

Check this by going to Dashboard>Users>Your Profile and see what name you have for the option: Display Name Publicly As: in my case it is Carol Manser.

Also on your Dashboard>Your Profile you will see a text box for your Google Plus URL.  So Copy/paste your Google Plus URL here as well: G+ User Profile

I think you have to do the above steps in your Dashboard User Profile even if you use the Plugin method: think ‘Belt and Braces’…that works for me.  Smile

Method 3:  Put our Link somewhere into the Theme’s structure – the static part of your site, such as the Menu, the Sidebars or the Footer.  All those areas are viewable on every page of your website, so they would all be suitable places to add a link to your About Page, which in turn, is linked to Google Plus Profile. I chose to put my byline in my Menu.

Adding Your Author byline into your Menu: this method works because:

  • You are the author on your site (set in Dashboard>Users>Your Profile);
  • you are the author of this blog who wrote this page (‘Author’ added in your Menu’s ‘About’ link) which shows on every page

and so this can be your Author byline on every page.  Neat, eh?

Here’s how to do it:

Go to your Dashboard>Appearance>Menu> Find your ‘About’ entry in your Menu. 

  • Open your About Menu Box by clicking on the triangle top right, 
  • Make sure you have About showing in the Navigation Label Box (at No 2)  in screenshot below. 
  • Make sure that the word Author is entered in Title Attribute Box (No 3).and
  • Type the word ‘Author‘ in the Navigation Label box: (No 4) below.

menu author

Save – done!

Now you have to Test that all the links are working, and photos will be appearing next to your Search results. That will be the next post – I’m exhausted – I don’t know about you.

NOTE: Google takes quite a few days to get all your content crawled and linked up to your photo. But you can test to see if it will work at what Webmaster Tools used to call its Rich Snippet Testing Tool.  This is now called the Structured Data Testing Tool.  Here is proof that my Authorship is working ok:

Authorship verifiedGood Job!  Now you can put your feet up and have a well deserved cuppa – or whatever you feel like. You done good!  P.S. did you spot the typos? It’s an experiment…:).

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Google Author: How To Add Rel Me & Photo To Searches That WORKS — 17 Comments

  1. Pingback: Google Authorship Explained & How It Increases Traffic

  2. Pingback: Rich Snippets: How to Test G+ Authorship, rel”author” & rel”me” - My Second Million

  3. Pingback: Google+ Publisher & G+ Pages for Blogs & Websites Explained -

  4. Pingback: How To Set Up Google Publisher With rel=”Publisher” Tag -

  5. Do you know how to set up a byline in Blogger?
    Everything is checking out for me except I can’t get past this message:

    Email verification has not established authorship for this webpage.
    Automatically detected author name on webpage: Not Found.

    Which I believe I am getting because of the byline thing.
    Would appreciate if you could help me with a fix for this!

  6. Hi,
    Thank you for all of this wonderful, easy to follow info! I went through all of your steps but I hit a little snag that maybe you could help me with. When I opened my About Menu Box, there is no “Link Relationship (XFN)” box for me to add “Author” to so my authorship test on Google Webmasters Tools says “Page does not contain authorship markup.” Do you know how I can get that box to show up so I can get this to work? Thank you!

    • Hi Brad, I’m not sure why you have no XFN Link Relationship visible in your About Menu box. That is a WordPress feature, so I would have thought that all WordPress blogs have it.

      Anyway, I checked my own result at the Rich Snippets wordpress tools: oops can’t see a way to add an image to a Comment – but check it out for yourself using at rich snippets to see what you are aiming for.

      Ok, one suggestion is to get the Fanciest Author Box from Code Canyon ($10) and add a bio to your blog posts/About Page, and/or in the sidebar.

      Another idea is to check you have correctly added your Google Plus link somewhere in your About Page as described in the article – this may be the problem, and not the XFN link at all. I don’t know, but check everything and retest.

      Or, check out this Link: and see if doing that works. I don’t know if that will work, but it’s worth testing it out – it’s adding an XFN link via Dashboard>Links>Add new.

      Good luck! Keep tweaking till it works – that’s what worked for me….finally.

  7. You lost me in “3. Add & Verify An Email Address:” when you said “You will see a text box in your Google Plus Profile Page asking you to add an email address.”

    Where is this text box? If you mean under Contact Information, that already has my gmail email address (the one you said to use in “1. Open a Google Plus Account”). Do I replace that with the email linked to my website?

    Also when you say “the linked-to-your-website email account” is it okay that I have that set up as a yahoo email account pointed to from my wordpress installation?

    Cheers, mate

    • Hi Nic, I’ve been trying to sort this out for you. Unfortunately it seems to be impossible to go back to the signup process at Google Plus if you already have an account. However, I know that after you have opened your Google plus account using any gmail account (your personal gmail for example, not linked directly with your blog), in the G+ profile set up there will be a place to enter an email address that is linked directly with/part of your website.

      I don’t know about using Yahoo email address – is it part of your blog? If not, check out this link at Google webmaster that explains what you should do if your blog doesn’t have it’s own email address (part of your hosting package e.g. via Hostgator for me – the email people use if they want to contact me or my blog).

      and check out options 1 and 2 on that page.

      Sorry I can’t be more help.

  8. With havin so much content do you eveer run ihto any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My site has a lot of completely unique content
    I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it
    seems a lot oof it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any ways to help reduce content from being ripped
    off? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • Generally people say you should approach the owner of the offending website – politely. If they don’t take out the copyrighted content (or acknowledge you as author with a link to your site) you can approach their Host Company and see if you can get them to pull their client into line.

  9. Pingback: How To Make Money Blogging? With A Blog That Runs On Its Own

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