If you’re a seasoned SEO, you’ve probably heard about one of Google’s latest rich snippets – the “author image” snippet. Well, I finally got mine. And since there’s still a dust-up on how to get it, hopefully these super simple instructions will work for you.
To see it in action, you can Google the term “free seo audit“. You should see me in position 4.
The image appears to have had a nice impact. Not on rankings or impressions, but click-throughs. And that’s what I would expect. Typically in my days of ecommerce, the reviews and price rich snippet showed a much larger interaction rate than the listings without it. Why wouldn’t it be the same for a picture? It helps the listing stand out in a more profound way, and draws the eye to the title and meta description. Thus, a higher likelihood for a click.
From what I noticed, I got this image on February 4th. I was lucky enough to catch it on the day it went live.
Traffic for the first position, non-image listing was an average of about 15-20 visits a week. Now, in my two weeks since having the image, I’m averaging 30-40. I’m assuming “free seo audit” didn’t become a new trending topic in the last two weeks. I believe it was the image, and I’ll continue to monitor. I’ll let you know if anything changes.
How Do I Get The Author Image?
Here are the exact steps I took to implement Google’s authorship markup. I’ve seen a few pages that were either wrong or overly complicated it. All you need is an “about me” page on your blog and a Google Plus profile. That’s right, folks. It’s a perk to buying into Google’s “Facebook Killer.”
- Create a link from your Google Plus profile to the “About Me” author page on your blog (Google will automatically add the proper “me” microformat to the link). For example below, I created this link which goes to my author page - greenlane.wpengine.com/blog/about. This page has all sorts of information on me as a human being on the internet.
- Next, I created a link from that about me page to my Google+ profile (I used a graphic, but it doesn’t need to be). Important: The link must have the microformat rel=”author”. So for example, in my case the code for that link is:
- Now, this is the part I’ve seen wrong from other sites. As you start to write for your blog, you need to add rel=”author” to your name on each post. Nowhere else. I use WordPress, and was able to do it in the single-post.php template, by the variable that dynamically pulls in my name. Unfortunately if you’re using another blogging platform, you’ll need to do a little homework on the web to see how to get rel=”author” in the link for your name. Maybe you’ll be lucky and your blog already does it by default. Update: 6 8 2012 – Yoast says Google reads it in the <head> tag, if that makes it easier to add for you.
Once the changes were made, it took about 3 weeks. Your time may change. I’m not even positive Google will show these icons for everyone, or every post (as I’ve heard some people say). I’m not particularly active on Google Plus, so I would venture to guess that it’s not required to be a power user (as some people have suggested).
Updated fun fact 6-8-2012: At first, if you had several pages rank at once for a keyword, you’d get your mug on every one of the listings. Looks like Google just updated this – now it appears your image will only show for your first listing.