How-To Setup Google Authorship With WordPress SEO

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WordPress SEO tutorial for Google Authorship

In this tutorial I show you how to correctly set up the WordPress SEO plugin so that you won’t inadvertently have Google Authorship displaying where it technically shouldn’t be allowed to display according to Google’s recently updated guidelines.

Unlike my other tutorial on WordPress authorship, this solution is a little more bullet-proof since you are using a plugin instead of editing the theme itself.

Step 1 – First things first!

Make sure you have the most recent version of WordPress SEO installed and also have a personal Google+ Profile page and/or if you are a business a Google+ Business page.

In addition, you must also link from your profile and/or business page to your blog in order for any of this to work. You can read about how to do that for personal Google+ profiles here, and for Google+ Business pages here.

Now that we have that taken care of let’s get into the goodness!

I’ll start with how to configure WordPress SEO for a single author blog since all blogs need those settings and then I’ll finish up with the specifics for businesses and multi-author blogs, both of which have specific configuration options.

Step 1 – Enter your personal Google+ Profile URL into your user profile in WordPress

WordPress Profile

WordPress Profile with Google+ URL

This is done by selecting ‘Users’ in the left navigation within WordPress, then select yourself from the ‘Users’ table. You should now be on your user profile page as shown above.

From here all you have to do is locate the Google+ form field and enter your Google+ profile URL. If you don’t know what your Google+ URL is, it should look like this:

https://plus.google.com/112472587150551442541/posts

Or if you have a vanity URL, it’ll be your name (or whatever you words selected for your vanity URL). For example, mine is:

https://plus.google.com/+CraigFifield/posts

If you’re using the most recent version of the WordPress SEO plugin, you’re done with the set up for a single author blog. Unlike previous versions of the plugin, the current version automatically sets up authorship on your blog posts only, which is the correct way to apply authorship, and is what Step 2 below shows you how to do manually. If you don’t trust the default settings to get it right (I don’t because I’m anal) you should proceed to Step 2.

If you have a multi author blog, or a Google+ business page you still need to follow my instructions for those below.

Step 2 – Choose The Post Types That You’d Like To Have Authorship

Google Authorship Post Types

Choosing WordPress Post Types for Google Authorship

In this step you should select the post types where Google Authorship should not appear. If you scroll down on the Post Types page you’ll see the three options are Posts, Pages, and Media.

This is also important to get right so you adhere to Google’s guidelines – you don’t want to have authorship on pages they don’t view as written by an author (contact pages, privacy statements, etc).

What you should choose here depends on your blog configuration but most blogs would want to have authorship on posts only since WordPress pages are generally used for ‘site’ type pages.  If you know that you have a lot of articles posted as WordPress pages you should then also allow the pages to have Google Authorship.

I haven’t seen many blogs using media pages, or if those pages should really use Google Authorship based on the new guidelines (they aren’t written by an author), so most blogs should set authorship to not be shown on media pages.

If you are running a single author blog, that’s it! You should be ready to test your configuration now.

Google Authorship For Multi-Author WordPress Blogs

If you are running a multi-author blog and would like to allow your authors to also get Google+ author attribution all you have to do (after following the steps for single author blog above) is have them add their own Google+ profile URL to their WordPress profile page.

Google Publisher For Google+ Business Pages

Google Publisher

Google Publisher for Business Pages

If you have a Google+ business page you should follow all the steps above for a single (or multi) author blog and then also add your Google+ business page URL to your blog home page. You do that by entering your business page URL into the ‘Google Publisher Page’ field shown in the above image.

Note that you should ensure that your authors, including the admin, should still use their personal Google+ profile URLs on their WordPress profile pages, the business page URL only belongs on the home page.

Check Your Work!

Once you believe you’ve followed the steps correctly, it’s very important to to check your work.

Testing your configuration isn’t as simple as it seem so I wrote a guide that you should read on how to test that Google Authorship is working that you should find very helpful.

Briefly, the easiest way is to use Google’s structured data testing tool. You’ll want to check the appropriate pages of your site to see if the author code is there when it should be (posts, or posts and pages depending on your implementation) and not where it shouldn’t be (like your home page or archive pages).

To do so just enter the appropriate URLs from your site into the testing tool and review the results. If you have trouble or don’t understand the results, refer to my testing guide.

If you have any issues just ask me in the comments and I’ll do my best to help you.

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much Craig! I use WP SEO and had it all wrong, took me a bit but everything is testing properly now! I had no idea Google changed things :(

  2. Hi Craig, very good explanation, simple & easy to follow. I did notice an update to Jetpack today which also adds the functionality of being a Google+ Author throughout the site.

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Thanks Morgan, I don’t use Jetpack, but I’ll check it out to make sure it’s done properly :)

    • Craig Fifield says:

      I checked it out, looks like a pretty solid solution for Jetpack users… although I didn’t see an option for Google Business pages (rel=publisher)

  3. At the bottom of the user profile screen, there’s a section called WordPress SEO settings. What should I put in those fields? Am I indicating here that my About Me page is my author page or is this the text that makes up my profile summary in the Google search result?

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi David,

      That is for the title tag and meta description of your author (user profile) page on your blog. If you were looking at that page in the serps that is what you would see, I’m not sure if Google would show it at other times but they might if it fits the search.

      • So the About Yourself biog field is not for search engines, just for my profile in WordPress.com?

        • Craig Fifield says:

          Hi David,

          I can’t be positive, I’m not a *.com* user, everything I wrote is about self-hosted .org blogs. That being said, I believe those fields would be used for your profile *and* for search engines when they deem it appropriate.

        • Craig Fifield says:

          Hi David,

          One more tip – you might want to checkout Jetpack. If you are a single author blog, they have a nice integration now with Google+. Note that it doesn’t work yet for multi-author blogs.

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I had read about Google Authorship a while back and frankly was confused by how it worked. I sat down today and told myself it was time to figure it out. So glad that I stumbled across this article and realized that since I already had the SEO plugin on my site that the hard work was done for me. Your easy to follow instructions had me up and running in a matter of minutes. Checked my work and bingo, it was spot on.

  5. Hi Craig, thanks for your post on this. Having a problem with Step 3, there’s no ‘Show Authorship’ option in post types in the Yoast settings, any ideas why not?

    Thanks
    Kerry

  6. Hey, Craig. I’m interested in having the byline name link to an author page on my site, which would then link to G+ from there. Are there any SEO plugins that allow for that? I know how I could do it by hand, but a plugin would be easier.

    Thanks!

  7. Craig – THANK YOU so much for this tutorial. I am a brand new blogger, so just now trying to set up all aspects of G+. Thanks to your detailed step-by-step instructions, I was up and running in 5 minutes, after nearly pulling my hair out reading other methods that did NOT work. And left me ultra frustrated.

    Definitely sharing. Thank you again! Karen

  8. THANK YOU so much! I spent something like an hour trying to figure this out today. This was the only clear description!

  9. Nice post Craig! I’ve followed everything exactly as you laid out and really hope it works as I’ve been trying to get google authorship for months now. Your method is different to what I’ve seen on other blogs and in a way much easier to follow. I know its probably a daft question but i’ll ask it anyway how long from your own experience does it take to show authorship in the SERPS on a brand new site (not that should be different from an existing site, but you never know with google :)).

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Thanks Chris! I usually see it within a day or two on popular sites but I’ve seen it takes weeks as well. Keep in mind it is usually easiest to log out of Google, or use incognito mode to see your own authorship.

  10. I think I read about 5 different tutorials and this one finally helped me find the info I needed!

    Do you know if this takes time to update? I see it properly on the Google Structured link but when I go to Google, it doesn’t display that way.

  11. Thank you so much Craig for this tutorial i search lot of site this is very easy method thank you.

  12. Thank you Craig. I had a hard time to make this work until I found this article.

  13. Thanks for this information. I was looking for this. Even i use yoast SEO plugin and I just tested the post pages using the Google tool you have mentioned. It is working. :-) I have not checked on search results yet. I guess it will take some time to be visible on search engine pages. :-)

  14. Thanks. This has to be the easiest tutorial I’ve come across to do this. Made a few tweeks from what I had and now waiting and hoping for the best from Google.

  15. Thanks Craig for your tutorial! Easy to follow and efficient! You rock!

  16. Craig, thanks for the step-by-step guide. I didn’t realize that I needed to have the full Google+ Profile URL. I was only including the G+ ID.

  17. It is almost working. Maybe Google needs more time… Great article by the way :-)

  18. Hello Craig!

    I spent an entire afternoon trying to configure authorship and it was really confusing because I have both Google+ Business and Personal profiles. But thanks to this post, all my tests now indicate YES! I am so grateful I found this article before wasting another afternoon. Thanks, you are the best!

  19. Thanks a lot for this brilliant tip.

  20. Never mind! Just figured it out. I had to go to SEO—> Social —> Google + ——> and then add my name as the author. NONE was selected. DUH!!! Thanks for the great post!! :)

  21. What an easy tutorial! Thanks, Craig!

  22. Hi Craig!

    This is such a great tutorial. You have a real gift for communicating complicated technical steps (that require precise execution) in an easy-to-understand manner. Reading through all of the comments, I’m so impressed by your level of engagement with each and every person. Not only do you respond to every comment in a personal way, you also live up to your promise to help answer questions and resolve issues.

    Hope you and your puppies are having a great day! :)

  23. Hi Craig,

    Thank you for this post……very helpful!

    I just followed the steps above and noticed that now……..
    – My home page only has rel=”publisher”
    – All the rest of my posts/pages have BOTH rel=”author” AND rel=”publisher”

    Is that right?

  24. Craig, if you are setting this up for a multi-author site, should you have each author link to their respective author archive page from their G+ account? And if there isn’t an author page, should they just link to the home page, or is there another best practice? Thanks!

  25. Awesome walk-through! I have one question, please. My company does not have email addresses on the same domain as our blog. Everything looks to be setup perfect except is says I don’t have a verified email on the same domain. Will that stop my Google authorshop from displaying properly?

    Thanks!

  26. Hi Craig,

    I have followed all the steps above and also tested URLs in the Structured Data Testing Tool. The tool shows everything is fine with the URL. But, when it comes to actual results in Google, it doesn’t show my author pic. Why?

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Avadhut, Having authorship set up isn’t a guarantee Google will display it, and it is dependent on many factors – query used, other authors in the results, etc. If the testing tool says it’s ok, it should be ok, if you want to try to see it yourself the best thing to do is to log out of Google and/or use incognito mode to test.

  27. OK, just checked again. It’s working for specific blog posts, but not for my blog URL (www.paulzelizer.com/blog). Is that a problem?

    Thanks again!

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Paul, That is not a problem, you shouldn’t have authorship on the home page of your blog unless you have a G+ business page.

  28. Great Article. I have 2 questions.

    1. I have custom theme and developer is appending rel=author while displaying the blog post (with excerpt) in the home page.

    Right now, I have rel=”publisher” from WordPress SEO plugin and multiple blog posts with rel=”author” tag when viewing the source code. So, I can think of 2 options.

    1. Remove rel=”author” from author vard
    2. Disable the author name hyperlink form home page.

    I’m not sure which is the right approach.

    2. Does the name of the author in the url should match the name from G+ profile? Say name of the person is John Smith.

    example.com/author/johnsmith/
    example.com/author/johns/

    Thanks.

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Raghu,

      1) The method doesn’t matter as long as you don’t have rel=author on the pages that shouldn’t have it. I would check your archives as well since they usually are similar to the home page.

      2) The URL shouldn’t matter, but ideally you should have the visible name on the page should match.

  29. Thanks for the help Craig! Your consultation services are awesome!!

  30. Hi. I just tried to implement Google authorship as you explained here with Yoast WordPress SEO and it does not work. After I followed these steps, I still get “Email verification has not established authorship for this webpage.” Can you help? Thank you.

  31. Hi Craig,

    Great tutorial, one of the few that actually helps… quick question: is there a way for me to specify which pages show authorship? There are some I would like to have authorship for and others (like the contact page or videos page) I think would be better without. Any way to do this?

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Adam, You can do that be setting up another user that does not have authorship, then make that user the author of the pages that you don’t want to have authorship.

  32. Cheers much appreciated. I think it’s set up correctly but please will you check http://www.softsurfaces.co.uk/blog and also will be worth chatting at how you would improve my web presence as I’m interested in this!!

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi James,

      I only took a quick look, but I think you have it working ok, although via what seems to be a different method. To be sure, just follow my instructions at the end of the post. I’d be happy to do a call with you regarding your web presence, I do calls (Skype or Google Hanout) every week for $125 an hour. If you are interested just fill out my form and let me know what you are looking for and a time that works for you – http://www.craigfifield.com/contact

  33. Michelle Bollinger says:

    Thanks Craig! I was having the same problem Katja was having. In the SEO>Social>Google+>Author for homepage the default is “none”. I didn’t realize I needed to change that to my name. I thought we weren’t supposed to be messing with the “homepage”.

    It’I got it working on both of my websites. Thanks again Craig.

  34. Sorry for long post above. I’ve actually got it working for all pages except homepage. I presume it’s not meant to work for homepage as I have selected don’t show author on front page ? Just curious why Google don’t recommend ticking this on for blog websites?

    Anyway, you can ignore previous comment. I actually had the wrong google plus I’d entered… Yeah….soo stupid…some little character slipped in somehow

  35. Having an issue with verifying my email which I think is due to the fact my domain is different than my email domain. I am using Yoast SEO plugin with my google plus info but for some reason I can still not get verified. Any ideas? When checking in the Google Structured Data Tool its telling me “Page does not contain authorship markup.” Although my plus account info is in their.

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Mike,

      For email verification you need to have the same email as your domain. Email verification is a separate process and doesn’t have anything to do with the Yoast plugin. I can’t see your site to check it, but if the tool is telling you it’s not there, it’s probably not!

  36. Michelle Bollinger says:

    Thank you Craig for reminding me to look at how my authorship was set up. I thought I did it right but you warned me to take a second look. Turns out I have a WordPress.ORG site (not .com) – so there is an extra step my hosting company had to do for me to get it to work. You steered me towards the right direction. Thanks again, Michelle

  37. Thanks for breaking it down. It appears that I’ve got everything set up correctly, but authorship isn’t displaying in search results; however, it is displaying in the WMT testing tool…I went back this morning and disabled authorship for every page that isn’t authored by a single person. Hopefully, that’ll fix the issue.

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Jordan,

      Skim my other comments for how to see authorship yourself, it’s not straightforward.

  38. When I start blogging, at that time I use ALL IN ONE SEO plugin for SEO but after reading you article I think that it’s time to change ALL IN ONE SEO plugin to Yoast Plugin. Thank for writing such a wonderful article, I hope yoast plugin help me to increases my traffic.

  39. Hey Craig,
    I followed all the directions, I think and my personal authorship for G+ is working but not for my G+ business profile. Any thought??
    Thanks

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Colleen,

      It looks like you have publisher working for your G+ biz profile, but you don’t have authorship working for your blog yet. It looks like you have authorship right on your blog, but you haven’t added your site to the Contributor section of your personal G+ profile. Once you do that you should be all set!

  40. Hi Craig, thank you for this on-point, simple, and very informative post. I have Google Authorship plugin and also WordPress SEO. I decided to deactivate the Google Authorship plugin and use the WordPress SEO instead. I checked the result with the “structured data testing tool” and it seems to be working well. However, when I go to Google search for my posts, my profile is still not showing up. Can’t figure out why? Thanks again

  41. Craig – I initially set up my authorship based on your post – worked like a charm. I commented several months back. Now I find my authorship is no longer setup. I use the Yoast plug in, and I did get a vanity URL for my Google+ page (blog) after initally setting up authorship. No changes to my original Google+ profile. Help????

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Karen,

      Right now it looks like you have some testing links in your header, those are wrong, I’d remove those. Otherwise, I reviewed your code and you have authorship set up correctly. Once you remove the testing links you should see everything is ok in the testing tool. It won’t make any real difference but you could also update your profile link to your vanity url. The correct full url for that is – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Kpsays/posts

      • Thank you Craig!!!! It is working/set up in the testing tool, but I only get the “second class” byline with no photo. I understand Google is tightening up on the snippets. I’ll just keep plugging away. Thanks for your help as always!

  42. Cheers Craig for this. One of the easiest and well explained methods of doing what appeared to be a nightmare.
    I have 2 business pages somehow. How do i know which page to add to my blog home page.

    Cheers

    gary

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Gary,

      You should only have one Google Business Page. You’ll have to figure out which one has more engagement and add that one to your home page. I’d delete the other to avoid user confusion.

  43. I have followed the steps but when I saw the results in google search engine by name was there but not the image.

    What should I do?

  44. Hi Craig,
    Great post. Thank you.
    I have followed all steps. However, the verification page keep sending me these errors:
    Error: At least one field must be set for Hcard.
    Error: Missing required field “name (fn)”.

    My domain is in joomla and my blog is in wordpress. So, my structure is http://www.domain.com/blog. Since my authorship content is only in wordpress, I have follow the steps in wordpress only. Is this correct? Or shall I do this for Joomla although I’m not interested in authorship for the whole website?
    thank you very much!

    • Craig Fifield says:

      Hi Ali,

      If you have a Google+ Business Page for your business, you should set up Google Publisher for your site homepage (Joomla). Google Authorship should be set up for your blog only. If doesn’t look like you are having the errors you mention any longer so that’s good. Now all you need to do is get authorship and publisher set up.

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