Why and how to verify Google authorship

For more than a year Google has been working toward an initiative to begin attributing content to the original authors. This is a very beneficial step to assist content producers. It seems to me to be a protection against the practice of “scraping” in which the contents of a post are lifted from the base html and reposted on another site.

As Brian Clark at Copyblogger.com has noticed about Google authorship:

Google made talented writers more important with the Panda and Penguin updates. Instead of weak content and “unnatural” link building, now sites need strong content that attracts links organically.
But it hasn’t stopped there. Now who creates the content, and who does the linking out matters – which is why Google wants to know who you are via your Google+ authorship profile. What’s been dubbed Author Rank has the potential to be the biggest algorithmic signal for SEO since the hyperlink itself.

The days of lame anonymous content are over. Even better, rock star writers with demonstrated success and strong social followings will command the highest compensation and equity positions.

Think about that.

Here’s how Google itself describes the benefit:

The name of the writer can be used to influence the ranking of web search results by indicating the writer responsible for a particular content piece … Assuming that a given writer has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that writer will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable writers in search results.

Google Authorship is linked to your Google+ profile and verifies you and the author of content you produce. Your G+ profile appears in some search results. See the screenshot below for an example.

Google author Marty Duren

The word on the street is Google authorship will be combined with Google’s Page Rank as a means of better reporting search results. This is important for blog owners and contributing writers to collaborative websites. When you are searched by name or name and a topic (“I can’t remember the website, but the guy was something “Duren” and the article was about social justice.”) verified authorship can help in that kind of search.

Also, as you gain influence on certain subjects, you will rise in search results on those subjects.

So, how does one become a verified Google author? Here are two ways, one of which is very simple. The second requires more effort but worked better for me.

First, you must have a Google+ account. This is a closed eco-system, so a Facebook account alone will not work with it. Make sure you have a headshot as your photo, not a mountain range or a picture of Foghorn Leghorn.

With a G+ account you should be able to verify authorship by using your email address. Go to plus.google.com/authorship and follow the directions. You will receive an email from Google. Click on the included link and verification should take place.

Please note: You must have an email that matches the top level domain of your website. In other words, if your website is ireallylikegoogleplus.com you must have an email on that domain like mail@ireallylikegoogleplus.com or jedimaster@ireallylikegoogleplus.com. A Yahoo or Hotmail address will not suffice. (Gmail used in conjunction with a POP3 mail account worked for me.)

One thing of note: I tried the email registration method a week ago and received a response email from Google. Subsequently my Google+ account indicated the email was verified. However, I never received any indication from Google that authorship had been verified. When I used the step below my Google Authorship status was verified in a matter of hours.

The graphic below is a screen grab from this page. Follow the directions step-by-step. The link on step on was place on the “About” page of my blog. I chose to use “Google+” as the hyperlink word rather than “Google.”

Google author

After completing this process you should receive an email confirmation from Google. It took several hours for me to receive the email. (If you need further information, this article by Rick DeJarnette breaks the process down even more.)

I would suggest additionally to add to your G+ profile any other social media accounts that use the same name you are attempting to register with Google Authorship. I registered my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and Myspace accounts.

What are your thoughts on Google authorship? How did the registration attempt work for you? Anyone become a verified author using only the email confirmation method?

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • bradblackman

    Is this still up-to-date?

    • martyduren

      I have not checked for updates, but I haven’t seen any either.