How to claim Google Authorship for your writing

fairy blog motherThis how-to post is for all you serious bloggers out there who want to increase your reputation through recognition from the search engines, namely Google, by telling you about and showing you how to claim Google Authorship for your writing.

Note I said “your writing”, not your blog. Google Authorship rewards the author, the writer, not the medium the content you have written is placed into. This means wherever you submit your posts or articles on the web, especially here on the BritMums website, Google will note it is you who is the author and will acknowledge this accordingly.

Let’s explore a rich snippet of mine:

Hopefully one of the first things you notice is my avatar. Anyone who has claimed Google Authorship should have uploaded a really good picture of themselves, as it will be shown around the web. It will be taken from your Google+ profile page, so make sure that is in order, along with your full name (if that is what you are writing under as an online author).

Showing your author’s name in full is important, as this will have to be replicated in your blog’s by-line, About page and blog settings as well as elsewhere on social media. This needs to be consistent to activate Google Authorship properly, as it shows up in the rich snippet too. Remember, it is you as the author that is being promoted, not the post you have written.

Now here I have put together a video to show you how to claim Google Authorship for your writing. This will have a very powerful force in raising your reputation and credibility within the blogosphere and throughout the online writing world if you go through these procedures I have outlined here.

Google Authorship can also help increase web traffic and boost your online marketing capabilities through more exposure around the web. So why aren’t you authorised? Listen to this video, claim Google Authorship for yourself and let me know if you start to see a difference!

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About Alice Elliott

If you are a beginner blogger who is looking for someone to "explain things really simply" about blogs and WordPress, then go ask Alice Elliott! Her award winning blog Fairy Blog Mother explains blogging using ordinary, everyday words. Why not take part in her 90 Days Challenge to Commenting Mastery to get more readers and traffic!

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27 Responses to How to claim Google Authorship for your writing

  1. Tom @Ideas4Dads 21 January 2014 at 12:48 #

    As always with your posts very much appreciated and will definetely be doing this 🙂

    • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 13:10 #

      Good stuff Tom! You won’t regret sealing your expert writer connection with Google and stealing a march over all the other Tom dad-bloggers out there.

  2. Abby Boid 21 January 2014 at 13:21 #

    Hello Alice
    Really really helpful. I have a couple of problems – can you help?

    When I started out blogging, I set my name as Mary Boid. Since realising the content of my blog does not benefit from anonymity, I have changed all profiles to my real name – Abby.

    However, whenever I publish a post on, the author shows as Mary Boid. I have checked user settings and it states I will appear publicly as Abby Boid. If I comment, or view info anywhere else on wordpress, I appear as Abby.

    Also, I am still Mary on the Google+ icon that appears under each post, despite being Abby on Google+.

    Do you know how I can rectify these anomalies?

    Secondly, do I definitely need to buy a domain in order to be able to link Google+ to an email? Not sure how to do this, but I will scan the wordpress site.

    Thanks in advance for you help

    Abby (not Mary!!)

    • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 13:51 #

      Oh dear, Abby, what a pickle!

      Your gravatar shows you as Abby: so I can’t see why Mary would show up. You could always ask the Happiness Engineers in the forum why the wrong name appears when you post as a author. Maybe they could correct it for you in their database.

      The most important element for Google Authorship is that the name in the Google+ profile, your byline below your post’s headlines (which relates to your WP settings) and your name stated very obviously in your About page (which I see is not) are all the same. The special code I showed you will connect your About page with your Google+ account.

      For a blog the domain is just that, You can buy a domain from WordPress to map over your WP blog’s address and then connect it to your Googlemail account (very fiddly but possible) to give you an email with that domain name. This is a complete pain, and if you search the forums you may find some other poor soul who has gone through all of this before and will provide a more succinct answer.

      Good luck! It’s such a shame that bloggers are penalised from being able to apply for Google Authorship easily.

      • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 14:00 #

        Another thought Abby. Don’t bother with getting a domain from WordPress, they will rip you off. Go to and get one from there. Then you can create a suitable email address with that domain to be confirmed by Google Authorship. You can ‘map’ your new domain over your WordPress blog’s URL for only $13 a year to keep Google happy – go to Store > My Domains from the left hand sidebar in the Dashboard to find out more.

  3. Emma Clark Lam 21 January 2014 at 14:18 #

    This is very good Alice – I followed your instructions religiously and it seems to have worked! The only thing I couldn’t fix was the ‘Authorship Email Verification’. For some reason the email address on my domain could not be verified on my profile. It also didn’t automatically detect my author name on my webpage, but not sure if this matters!

    • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 14:28 #

      Hi Emma, you couldn’t verify because you don’t own it! It is a generic domain for all Blogger blogs. You need to buy a domain name of your own (see the answer I gave Abby above) and then use that to create a domain-related email address to be verified by Google. Then find out how to map your new domain or direct it to your Blogger blog – I’m not an expert on Blogger! I’m sure if you Google it there will be an answer.

      If you have added that special code placed after your Google+ profile URL onto your About page somewhere, and your author name is on that webpage, it will be picked up in due course.

      • Emma Clark Lam 22 January 2014 at 16:18 #

        Thanks Alice! That makes sense. Yes I did add the special code onto my About Page and my Google Authorship has been verified that way. So much to learn! Loved your presentation on you tube btw.

        • Alice Elliott 22 January 2014 at 16:43 #

          The good thing about all these comments is that I’ve learned that it is an either-or process for claiming your Google Authorship – either you verify your domain-email address in Google – or you add the “?rel=author” code after your full Google+ profile URL (the one with the numbers) within your About page – or you install a suitable plugin into your blog. The choice is yours!

          Glad you liked my little video on the subject – in the light of what I’ve just learned here, I may have to redo it again!

  4. Abby Boid 21 January 2014 at 15:14 #

    Blimey. I need a sherry. Ok, I followed all of your most excellent instructions. I found something via google on what to do if you haven’t got an email account on the same domain (see extract below). I followed those instructions too. I now have a google + text widget in my sidebar, and the code you refer to in the presentation in my about page. Do you think therefore I can avoid the email thing? I tested my last post and it seems I do have google authorship. Many many many thanks

    Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:
    Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:

    Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.

    Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
    Edit the Contributor To section.
    In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
    If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
    Click Save.
    To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the structured data testing tool.

    • Alice Elliott 25 January 2014 at 19:15 #

      Hi Abby

      Yes, don’t worry, I’ve worked out there are 3 ways of claiming Google Authorship:

      1) Verify your email that contains the domain of your blog
      2) Add the special code that links to your Google + profile
      3) Insert a Google + plugin if your blog uses

      Any one of these will do the trick, not all 3 at once! Took me a while to work that one out though!

      Now you’ve done the Google + code properly in your About page, everything should be OK!

      • Abby Boid 25 January 2014 at 19:31 #

        Thanks again. Even noticed a small increase in people finding me via google searches. As I only have chance to post once, maybe twice per week, I am pleased with this.

  5. Abby Boid 21 January 2014 at 15:16 #

    Sorry, I can see my link to the google page didn’t work. Here it is again and I followed instructions under ‘option 2’

    • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 15:30 #

      Well done Abby, that is exactly what I said you should do in my video! That “?rel=author” code is really important to connect your About page to your Google+ profile, and that’s why you need to have your full author’s name clearly visible too.

  6. Abby boid 21 January 2014 at 15:42 #

    You are a fairy blog mother who has the patience of angels! So engrossed was I in following your instructions, and those found via word press forums, I failed to realise I had followed the same set of instructions twice. Sorry for being dim – such a steep learning curve.

    I guess it is still worth getting the domain and linking the email, even though i think I have authorship. I will crack on with that after a large slice of cake.
    Thanks again.

    • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 16:10 #

      If you think you already have attained authorship by what you’ve already done, then why continue further? Check it out via and see if you get the green links, and take your latest blog post and post it into Google as a search and see if you get a rich snippet! If so, you’ve done it! Yay!

  7. Abby Boid 21 January 2014 at 16:17 #

    You are right. I am going to leave well alone. And I am going to leave you in peace. Thank you. And no doubt see you on another thread soon!

  8. Expat Mum 21 January 2014 at 22:32 #

    I think I know the answer but – you presumably have to have a Google+ account? Being on bloodspot or having a Gmail account won’t do?

    • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 23:57 #

      Yes, I’m afraid it is a necessary requisite to have a Google+ profile to qualify towards claiming Google Authorship. Actually Google+ and Google Accounts appear to be one and the same nowadays.

  9. Expat Mum 21 January 2014 at 22:32 #

    Bloodsport? Blogspot. Sorry.

    • Alice Elliott 21 January 2014 at 23:58 #

      That’s all right – slippery fingers!

  10. Hayley Goleniowska 24 January 2014 at 11:51 #

    Thank you! This is today’s job!

    • Alice Elliott 24 January 2014 at 14:59 #

      Good luck Hayley, let us know how you get on.

  11. Emma 18 March 2014 at 08:00 #

    Hi do you know if it’s okay to have put that code into 2 wordpress accounts? So I’m claiming authorship from separate sites (but my name). Obviously I can add whatever I like on Google plus but wondered if this might hinder searches if using the code twice?

    • Alice Elliott 18 March 2014 at 10:12 #

      Hi Emma, Google Authorship credits *you* as the writer, not where you place your writings into. So yes, you can put that code into as many ‘About’ pages in as many blogs as you like. I myself have listed 4 blogs I write for in my Google+ Contribution To listings, and hope to add many more in the future.

      • Emma 19 March 2014 at 07:38 #

        Excellent I’d hoped you’d say that 😉 Thank you.