Want Your Picture In The Google Search Results? Add A Google+ Profile

Google has supported the ability to add authorship tagging to your web pages in order to give authors the ability to get more face time in the search results. But often web sites do not implement them fully. So how do 1 out of 5 results have an authorship image?

David Harry dug into it and found that although many blogs and web sites do not properly markup their web pages with authorship and many do not have authorship at all, those sites may still show an authorship image in the search results. How so?

David saw that when there is a Google+ profile completed with links to “contributed to,” “links” and “other profiles,” Google will pick up that linkage and sometimes show the author’s Google+ profile picture in the search results, as they would with the authorship markup.

Google will often show the author’s profile picture even when authorship is not properly implemented on the web site when the Google+ profile page has the links on the about page.

Since only 9% of tech blogs properly implement the meta data, Google knows they can’t rely on webmasters to get it right. So Google is using other means to make the search results “richer” through backwards engineering the authorship tags.

For more on authorship, see our Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Authorship | Google: Rich Snippets | Google: SEO

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Lyndon NA

    G seem determined to apply “Authorship” – by various means.

    One method involves the Email method of Authorship.
    If you have utilised Authorship and G can see that email associated else where, they may associate your Profile to the page with your email.

    This sort of thing is likely to increase over time as G find more ways to reliably identify and associate people to pages.

    That said – it’s not fool proof – and they have caused a few problems already.
    John Doherty was given credit for other peoples posts due to Google getting Authorship Association incorrect.
    I wonder what sort of impact that could have on people/sites?

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