I've recently noticed more and more faces popping up when my search results og Google include blog posts. It seems like a great way of getting extra exposure, so I decided to figure out what was needed to do it for this blog too.

The thing that makes it possible is something called Structured Data Markup or Rich Snippets. It's the same markup used to show starred reviews/rating etc. There's a lot more to the markup, than I want to go into here, so if you want to know more about the details of it, you can read more about it in the link above.

The easiest way to include author information is by using Google's Authorship Information, which uses your Google+ profile to display information about you. So if you haven't got a Google+ account already, you obviously need to create one to do this.

Setting it up

There two ways of setting up

  1. Link your content to your Google+ profile using a verified email address.
  2. Set up authorship by linking your content to your Google+ profile (what I did).

Using a verified email address

This is pretty easy, but requires you to have an e-mail account on the same domain as your blog and you'll need to ad some specific text to each blog post.

  1. Go to https://plus.google.com/authorship and verify you e-mail from the same domain as your blog. Once the e-mail is added, the domain will appear in the “contributor to” section of your Google+ profile.
  2. Explicitly mention that you are the author somewhere in the post - i.e "By Henrik Jachobsen" or "Author: Henrik Jachobsen"

Using authorship linking

Since I'm the only author of my personal blog, it wouldn't make sense to have it say "Author: Henrik Jachobsen" on evey blog post, so I chose this option.

  1. Add a link <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google+</a> where [profile_url] is the direct link to your Google+ profile - i.e. https://plus.google.com/116677790766415660419
  2. Edit the "contributor to" section of your Google+ profile. In my case I needed to add blog.jachobsen.com and not just jachobsen.com.

I already had a list of social icons on my site, so I chose to just add a Google+ icon to that list with the link specified above.

Verify that it's working

Google has made a handy tool called Structured Data Testing Tool. It allows you to insert your URL and verify what data markup is detected on your page. It also tells you, if any of the steps above weren't completed correctly and how to correct them.

Structured Data Testing Tool screenshot

I used the tool to find out that I had to add my subdomain blog.jachobsen.com to my profile and not just jachobsen.com.

Now wait..

I've tried to find out how long it takes for the SERP to include the author information, but couldn't find anything specific. It looks like it can take anywhere from days to months, but should be closer to days if you've gotten green light from the testing tool.