Building Traffic Through The Rel=Author Tag

Question: If you were searching on Google, and saw these three results, which result would you be most likely to click?
Which are you most likely to click?

It's highly likely that you chose the middle one. That extra picture draws the eye and unconsciously adds credibility. Hence, it gets the click.

So how do you get your picture added to your posts? The secret's the rel=author tag, a gift given us by Google that studies show only a small portion of us are actually using (9% of tech blogs in this case).

But the results of using it include all kinds of good things like more traffic, more optins, more time on site, and yes, more sales.

So why isn't everyone using it yet? One reason is that implementing it seems to be incredibly difficult, with all kinds of pages giving all kinds of differing systems that frankly, are hard to do.

But, I've found an easy way that works as long as you're the only author on your blog/site (if you're running a multi-author blog, you'll need to use a different system like this one.)

Here's a video that shows the steps for this simplified system. Plus I've broken them out into text below so that you can implement each step. If you've got the basics already in place, this shouldn't take you more than 10 minutes to implement.


Figure out your Google+ URL.
Go to Google.com and log into your Google account (gmail, Google calendar, Google Docs will do the same thing). In the bar that then appears across the top of your browser you'll see, in the upper left corner +[Your Name]. Click that.


Now you're in Google+. To get your URL, click on the Profiles link on the left side, check to make sure you have a picture added to your profile and that your posts are public, then go up to the top of your browser and copy the URL from there.



Paste that URL into your text processing program, then remove the u/0/ from the middle of the URL and the /posts from the end. The result is your Google+ URL. (Note that it starts with https, not http.) Save that URL, you'll need it in a bit.



Now, let's turn to your blog. Hopefully you have a section on your blog that links to your various social media profiles. If you don't have one, you definitely should add one today!


(This next section requires some elementary knowledge of html programming. If that's not your forte, I totally understand, call your webmaster and have them do this part, in most cases it should take them about 3 minutes.)

Open your WordPress blog and navigate to the place where the code for your Follow Me on Social Media section is stored. In the theme that I use most, Genesis from StudioPress, (Affiliate Link,) (and many others) this is easily done through using a widget, so that code is located in the widgets section.

In my Genesis theme, it appears under Widgets, then moving across the page, I click Primary Sidebar, then Text: Follow Don Crowther, where I click the down arrow to open up the code.



This is the code that produced the image above. At the end of it, in the red box, is the Google+ code. I've inserted the Google+ URL that we got earlier, (no space,) then ?rel=author followed by the close quotation.


The actual syntax for that is
<a href=“[Google+URL]?rel=author”>What you’re linking to</a>
which in this case translates to
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/103916124785845244381?rel=author”><img src=”/wp-content/uploads/google-plus-logo2-50pix.jpg”></a>

Save that and you're done with the changes to your blog.

Now that we've built the link from our blog to Google+, we've got to reverse the process, linking Google+ to your blog.

To do this, simply go back to your Google+ account, and click the blue Edit profile button



Scroll down to where it shows the Other profiles and Contributor links, and click on Contributor



In the resulting box, click Add custom link



This then opens up the ability to input text about your site (I like to put in more than just my site name here) and a place to enter your URL. Do so. Then click Save.


But before we're totally done, let's check that everything worked correctly.

Go to http://google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

This brings up the Rich Snippets Testing Tool. Enter your site's URL in the box and click Preview



Google then shows you what it sees when it includes your page in the search pages. If your picture is there, you've done everything correctly.



Scroll down for a bit more information, and look for the author section and the green line that says Verified: Authorship markup is verified for this page. If that's there, you're golden!


That's it. You've done everything you need to do. Now all you have to do is to wait for Google to reindex.

One word of caution – simply adding this tag doesn't guarantee that your pictures will show up on your search listings. But, to get them to show up, you pretty much have to have the rel=author relationship created. And the results are absolutely worth it!

Finally, this is not the only way to connect yourself as an author to your page. If you have an email address on the same URL as your site, you can do it another way, which is detailed here.

Let me know your thoughts and results by entering a comment below. And, don't forget to like, tweet and pin this post so that other people will know about it too!

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Don Crowther

Don Crowther is a leading marketing, business strategy and online marketing expert. He helps companies ranging from Fortune-500-level giants to entrepreneurs make more money online using proven strategic and marketing techniques.

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