You may have noticed a recent addition to thoughtbot’s blog posts. We concluded an experiment to add a “Written by [Author Name]” byline and link the author’s name to their Google+ profile.
Google calls this Authorship. It is a feature that lets you verify that you are the author of some content, such as a blog post. It is kind of like a microformat that Google uses in its search algorithms. It also causes an author’s face to show in Google search results:
We take the following one-time steps to set up Google Authorship for each author on our blog:
- Get a Google+ account.
- Verify our email address for the domain, which will automatically add you as a collaborator of that website on Google+.
Now, whenever we author a post for one of those websites, we take the following steps:
- Add a byline that has a link like
Written by <a rel='author' href='http://plus.google.com/GOOGLE_PLUS_ID'>AUTHOR NAME</a>..
- Link back to the article from our Google+ profile.
The links in both directions are help to confirm authorship of the article.
We can then see statistics on impressions, clicks, click-through rates, and average position in search results for pages for which we are the verified author:
Google Authorship is a nice way for us to better understand how our content appears in Google searches as well as expose our content to a wider audience.