How to Verify Google Authorship and Publisher

William ShakespeareIn this article about SEO, I discussed Google Authorship, and underlined some of its pros and cons. You should take a look at it before proceeding. If, after checking out my rants, you still want to verify your author and publisher accounts, I have put together a very detailed guide, which I am sharing with you today. First, I will explain what Google authorship and publisher are and the difference between them. Probably, you know the difference between a Facebook account and a Facebook page: An account belongs to an individual where as a Facebook page represents an entity, such as a Web site. Google Plus has similar types of accounts for individual users and pages. An author is an entity represented by a personal Google Plus account, and an author profile is linked to individual articles. A publisher is associated with a Google Plus Page and links to a Web site. I will show you how do these three things:

  • Verify Google Authorship status for articles appearing you post on your Web site.
  • Verify Google Authorship status for articles posted on other Web Sites.
  • Verify Publisher status.

For all three steps, I will be assuming that you already have a personal Google Plus account and a Google Plus Fan Page for your site.

Verifying Google Authorship Status for Articles Appearing on Your Site

STEP 1: Log in to your personal Google Plus account, which you want to verify. Then visit the Google Authorship Sign-up page. You will need to have an email from the domain of your site. Insert the email in the appropriate field, as shown below, and click on ‘Sign up for Authorship’. This will add the email to your work profile, and your Web site under the ‘Contributor to’ field in the links section. Note: you can later edit the visibility of the email to make it private. By default, it will be available only to your Circles. The email must be verified by clicking on a link that will be mailed to you.

authorship1STEP 2: Make sure that every article that you post on your site has a byline attributing the article to you. For example, ‘by Arthur Burlo’. The name and surname on the article must match those of your verified Google Plus profile. To do this in WordPress, go to your profile, and make sure that ‘Display Name As’ is set to match your Google Plus profile, as shown below.

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Verifying Google Authorship for Guest Blogging Posts

STEP 1: Make sure to include the following link in your author biography, or have the webmaster include it:

authorship7‘Your Profile ID’ has to be replaced with your personal Google Plus ID. It is important to include ‘rel=author’. ‘Some Text’ can be anything you want such as your name or ‘Google’.

STEP 2: Add the Web site you are guest blogging for in the links section under ‘Contributor To’.

a) Visit Google Plus, click on ‘Home’, and choose ‘Profile’ in the drop-down menu.authorship2

b) Click on ‘About’.

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c) Find the Links section and click ‘Edit’.

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d) Add the domain for the Web site that you are going to guest blog for. You can also modify the visibility of the link from ‘Public’ to ‘Circles’ or ‘Private’.

authorship5Verify the Publisher for Your Website

This involves linking your Web site to your Google Plus Page, unlike the previous two steps that involved claiming authorship for your articles.

STEP 1: Add your Web site to your Google page.

a) Click on your profile picture and choose the page that you want to link to your Web site.

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b) Click on ‘About’.

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c) Under the ‘Links’ section, click on ‘Edit’ and type in the URL for your homepage under the field ‘Website’.

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STEP 2: Link your Web site to your Google Plus Page by inserting the following code, somewhere on your page:

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You can insert this code in a WordPress widget, as long as the widget is set to display on each page. Some themes will also have the link ready-made for you, and all you need to do is to insert your page ID in a field provided in the administration area. If you decide to do it manually, take note that you need to add ‘rel=”publisher”‘, as shown above.

To check that authorship and publisher have been verified go to this page, and insert the URL to one of your articles on your Web site. The tool will display the publisher and author status of your page.

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That is all, folks. Enjoy your authorship and publisher verified articles and sites!

ADDENDUM: For Advanced Users Only: How to Fix Rel=Publisher In Poorly Coded Themes.

Some themes, such as the one I am using, provide a built-in link to Google Plus, but the author forgets to add ‘rel=”publisher”‘ to the link. In this case, you have the option to add another link, as discussed above, or you can fix the one in the theme. For this latter option, you will need to edit the theme’s PHP files.

STEP 1: Use Firebug to find the ID or class of the Google Plus link. This is the name that identifies the Google Plus link inside the PHP files for your theme. Load your Web site in Firefox, and activate Firebug by right-clicking somewhere inside the browser and clicking ‘Inspect With Firebug’. If you do not have Firebug, you can download it from here. Point the Firebug cursor to the Google link and click on it. The ID will be displayed at the lower-left-hand side of your screen as shown below.

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authorship14STEP 2: Find the file you need to edit by using Windows Grep. You need to have a local copy of your Web site stored on your computer to do this. Check this article to see how you can backup your Web site, which I highly recommend you to do even if you do not need to fix ‘rel=”publisher”‘.

a) Input the ID found in step one into Windows Grep.

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b) Choose the folder where you have the local copy of your site stored.

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c) Windows Grep will find the name of the PHP file containing the Google Plus Link.

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STEP 3: Open the remote file in Notepad using FIlezilla and search for the ID that you found in step one. Add ‘rel=”publisher”‘ to the link, and the job is done:

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Need help with Filezilla? Check out this resource.

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