Asserting authorship with Blogger and Google Profiles

Summary

A quick trick can tell Google you are the author of your Blogger posts, leading to your picture next to your posts inside search results.

Background

Google can now display authorship attribution inside search results. You might have seen profile pictures in search results, such as the below:


This is all part of Google's efforts to bring identity and "real people" into their products and services, including Search.

Configuring Blogger

You might think that, because Blogger is a Google product, that everything will be automatically set up and Google will just know that you are the author of your pages. This is not necessarily true! You might have to perform just a few quick edits to link everything correctly.

If you have an "About Me" box, and have a public Blogger profile, you are half way home. If you have something like the below, then you have a visible About Me box:


You'll notice your name is a hyperlink, which links to your public Blogger profile (I'm guessing Google will kill those in favor of Google Profiles, but for now, let's just roll with this). If you "view source" for the link with your name, you'll see a special rel="author" attribute, which says, "This is a link to a page representing the author for this content."

Now, go to your Blogger profile, and click Edit Profile. Find the field for "Homepage URL" and enter your Google Profiles URL there. Save the changes.

It turns out that the Homepage URL link on the Blogger profile is given a rel="me" attribute, which tells Google "this link is about me, the person described on this page." Google is now able to deduce that you are the author of your Blogger posts, and that you have a Google Profile page.

To recap:

Blogger --> rel="author" --> Public Blogger profile page
Public Blogger profile page --> rel="me" --> Google profile page

One final step. Make sure your Google Profile page has a link to your blog. You should see a list of links on the right hand side of your Google Profile page, and perhaps Google has even filled in your blog. If not, add a link to your Blogger blog's homepage.


Testing

To test that you have this all configured correctly, you can use the handy Rich Snippets Testing Tool. If you have everything correct, you should see output similar to the below:


Troubleshooting

The authorship docs can help explain what's going on. Don't be frustrated if Google search isn't showing your picture right away, or not at all. Apparently there is some voodoo dictating if and when to show authorship pictures.

Summary

Luckily, asserting authorship works on any page, not just Blogger. Go add those rel="author" attributes to <link> and <a> elements on your page, and point them to your Google Profile. Adding the author's information to search results is a powerful signal to users to help them find the right content and the right time.

Hope this helps!
4 comments

Popular posts from this blog