How to Set Up Google Author Rich Snippets To Increase Web Traffic

Note:  Since August 2014 this is no longer possible due to a Google change!!

Do you want your photo displayed on search results in google for any articles you write on your blog?

By having your photo displayed it will improve the click through rate and will also help with your personal branding.

In this article we explain in more detail what author rich snippets are and how to set them up.

What is Author Rich Snippets?

Google allows you to add additional information to your article so that your picture is displayed alongside the article in the search results.

To set this up you will need a Google plus profile.  As part of the search results it will display the amount of people that have you in Your Google circles.

Author Rich Snippets

Your Photo and Google Plus Circle Information Displayed

What are the main advantages of having Author Rich Snippets?

  • A listing with an image in the listing is going to capture more attention than one without it so click through rate should be higher.
  • Displaying the amount of times you are in circles could increase the perception of you as an author if the number is high!
  • It is good for personal branding as your image is displayed in more places.

How do you set this up?

a). You can link your Google + account with your email address

If you have an e-mail address which has the same domain name as the website with the content you can link your e-mail to this content.  You do this by going to the Google authorship page and entering in your e-mail address.

Linking Google Plus

Linking Your Email to a Google Plus Account

For this to work you need to have a recognizable headshot as part of your Google plus profile.  You also need to make sure that in your posts you mention the authors name (e.g. By Ian Cleary) and this name matches up to the name on the Google plus profile.

b). Linking your content to your Google Plus profile

For any posts you write you can add an additional line of HTML to them that links your content to your Google + profile.

For example:

<a href=” rel=author”>Ian Cleary</a>

Replace the link with to the google plus profile with your own.  This is displayed in the browser window when you are on your profile page:

Google Plus Address

Your Google Plus profile id

Also change the author to your name (which should match up the profile name of the user).

You also need to a link to your website from Google plus.

Google Plus Contributor

Linking Your Google Plus to Your Website

This is really essential for everyone to set up.  Have you set it up yet?  Have you seen any improvements in click through?



  • Jessica Dewell

    I just followed all of your steps. is a WordPress site, so the link to my G+ profile is part of my user settings. Your step by step was easy – thank you!

  • Tania Dakka

    Set up mine up a couple of weeks ago…it was easy and this is an accurate tutorial!

    • Ian Cleary

      Glad it helped Tania.

      • nizam

        Dear Ian,

        Kindly advise on my website
        Things are marked correctly but photo is not showing in google search result

  • Kelly Hungerford

    Hi Ian, have you run into any issues with conflict of multiple accounts? I have several gmail accounts (work/private) and I’ve been trying for weeks to get the rel author set-up with no luck. I think I need a rel author advanced tutorial!

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Kelly, I haven’t tried with multiple accounts but I can certainly have a look at do an advanced tutorial on this, great idea!!

  • Patrick Wagner

    I love this new option from Google, I find search results always look better with an image beside them. Does anyone have experience setting up a Brand instead of a person’s authorship?

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Patrick, I haven’t tried this. You mean linking to a google + pages account? Ian

  • Sofie

    So, if I only use ‘Sofie’ on my blog (f.e. ‘Posted by Sofie on…’ and my Google+ profile shows my first and last name, it won’t work?

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Sofie, you need to use the word ‘by’ and the name should match the name on Google+. Thanks for your comment. Ian

  • Ari Herzog

    I presume the code (in your part b) can be edited to fit in the header section of every page?

    • Ian Cleary

      Hey Ari, this is relevant for each blog post and the header would be included for all pages including contact page etc so I wouldn’t put it in the header for every page. You could make it part of any template for the blog post?
      Thanks for your comment!

  • frugalfaye

    Thank you! These are the clearest instructions I have found so far.

    • Ian Cleary

      You are welcome, delighted to help!

  • Kuncheria Thomas

    I tried but nothing worked…I have a blog hosted in blogger but linked to my website as, have a Google+ profile also… had linked my G+ account with my email address, verified it, added the custom link in my g+ profile, also the html code provided…however nothing works

    • Melanie

      I am trying to get this work on a Blogger blog as well (for a client). Since I’ve not worked with Blogger in over 4 years I’m having a bit of trouble finding things. :

      • Ian Cleary

        Sorry Melanie, I can’t help you on Blogger!

  • Boris Czizikowski

    Hi Ian,

    your instructions are precise and I have done so many weeks ago. There is one message from the rich snippet testing tool, I get, that I do not understand or rather do not know what to do now. Maybe you can help?
    When checking the emailvalidation it says the authors name could not be found automatically on the website. (Look at the screenshot – german, sry) ;-)

    Any ideas?



    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Boris, each post needs a tag which will say ‘rel=author’, this can then point to your Google + account. If you are on WordPress and you are not using an SEO plugin you could add WordPress SEO which also looks after tagging each page with an author tag! Ian

      • Boris Czizikowski


        thanks for the quick reply.
        I have all that! This is why I am asking here ;-)

        Any ideas?

        Best Boris

        • Ian Cleary

          Wow, not sure where to go from here! You’ll need to get a techie to spend some time researching!

          • Boris Czizikowski

            You where my last hope! ;-)

  • Mobile

    This is a good totorial get the edge of encouragement to blogger.

    • Ian Cleary

      thank you!

  • Rakib Mashiur

    Nice Shearing :)

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks (sorry I missed your comment!)

  • Pingback: SEO Trends: 7 Hot Trends you'd be foolish to ignore()

  • Amber-Lee Dibble

    Well, Ian, I think I have it – the only part that is really bothering me is that I don’t understand…. and know if it is right – is this last part “b). Linking your content to your Google Plus profile”

    Everything else I have, good to go. Sigh. How can I check to see if it is right?

    • Ian Cleary

      sorry for the delay Amber. If your google plus profile you need to link back to your website. Select the ‘about section’ in google plus and make sure there’s a link back to your site under the links section.

  • Poky

    Thank you very much for this info.

    • Ian Cleary

      You’re welcome!

  • Vivek Adarsh

    That’s Wrong

  • Tollywoodsargam

    Hello Ian Sir i have a blogger blog completed setup process but i am unable to verify my email id i have tried 3-4 times but its show’s msg like this i have captured a screen shot please check it

  • IT Blogger Tips

    Hi Ian,
    I have done all the above steps with my website but why still my website photo is not showing in Google Search result while it is showing in Google Rich Snippets Tool. Please help me to get out of this issue. I am struggling from last few months.

  • Al

    Hi Ian, thanks for the insight. Is there a trick to handling the same process for a company website as opposed to a blog? It’s not as common, however I do see companies using this (or are these actually blogs?)

  • Raj

    Great tips. I added my G+ but not showing my circles count. How to show my google plus circles?


    This is cool

  • Ali Sajjad

    i just have problem that my author profile is not showing in rich snippet tools, and my publisher link which is my business page is displaying properly, how i can resolve this?

  • Ali Sajjad

    and also one thing more, link to google authorship is not working, now what we have to do verify my email?

    • Ian Cleary

      Sorry it’s no longer possible to set this up, I’ll have to delete this article!

      • Ali Sajjad

        Then what’s any other solution about to set google authorship ?