Show Author Thumbnails in Google Search Results Pages

Recently you have been noticing that while searching for a topic or specially news, you could see the author’s thumbnail image in the side of the Google search results pages. This is something new that Google has freshly incorporated (since last few months actually) in their search results page. It kind of looks good and impressive, and is quite effective in brand building for that particular author or blog as such. Showing author’s image beside a post or news written by that particular author also brings some trust factor for the Google searcher. Lets understand how you can implement this in your blog and display your picture along with the search results.

Blog author in google search

What all is required?

To go ahead with this activity you must have a valid Google Profile page. Your blog is actually linked with the Google profile page and the image is picked up from there and published. Other thing you need to have is “About Author” page in your website (or blog). In case it’s a multi author blog, you are required to have “About Author” page for each author listed on your site. You also need to add a code snipped in your blog to link that to your Google profile page and test it by Rich Snippet Testing Tool.

Display Author thumbnails for Blogs

Make your Google Profile

You need to make Google Profile at in case if you don’t have one already.

Create an about me page

Next step is to create and impressive about me page in your blog and link that to your Google profile. Use the code snippet as shown below:

<a rel="me" href="" title="Your Name">Your Name</a>

Please note that your_ID is your Google Profile ID. This is shown in the address bar of you Google profile page as shown below:

google profile id

Link your Blog to about me page

Next you need to link your blog to the about me page. This can be done by using the code snippet given below:

<a rel="author" href="" title="Posts by Acmeous">Acmeous</a>

If you are using WordPress 3.2 or above then you have this functionality to display links to your author pages.

Add a new custom link to your Google Plus Profile

Your Google profile also need to have a backward link to your blog page. So perform the steps and you can add a custom link to your blog –

  • Login to your Google profile account
  • In the right hand side you will find Links section
  • Add new custom link, which should be pointing to your “About me” page.
  • Select the option “This page is specifically about me”.
  • All done, save the changes.

google profile link

Test with Rich Snippet Tool

Last but not the least, to verify that all the procedure is followed correctly launch the Rich Snippet Tool and verify the blog. The result should come as “verified”.

You need to wait for the Google servers to actually crawl through your web/blog pages and verify the links and code snippets that have been added. As such Google doesn’t guarantees that necessarily your picture shall appear within the search result. They have their proprietary searching and display algorithms to make sure only subject matter experts and genuine authors show up.

In any case if everything goes fine, it may take from a week to probably a month for your picture to be actually displayed in the search result. This is said to be genuine brand building exercise, since user is tempted to click on the result that displays author picture alongside and certainly keeps away content farms as such.