2013/07/19 04:36:52
APGvNext Sam

Enable Google Authorship step by step

In order to enable Google Authorship for your forum, you need perform the tasks below:
  1. Sign up a Google+ account using an email on your domain (in my case, aspplayground.net)
  2. Sign up to participate in Google Authorship and verify your email you use in step 1
  3. Add a special header link in your page's HTML source
Once you have done the above, whenever Google shows your pages on its SERP (search engine result page), it will present your pages like this:

1. Sign up for Google+ using an email on your domain

If you haven't done so, you can sign up an account here. Make sure you
  1. Sign up using an email on your domain (e.g. in my case, abc@aspplayground.net)
  2. Upload a clear headshot as the profile photo. This will be the shown beside your page result

2. Sign up to participate in Google Authorship, and verify your email

Sign in to your Google+ account first, and then go to this page to sign up for Google Authorship.
Simply type in your email and it'll ask you to verify the email address by sending you an email with a link you need to click on. It is very straightforward.
Once you've verified the address, on your Google+ profile's About section, you'll see you've become a contributor to your domain (I had an old profile photo):

This is all you need to link up your Google Authorship to your G+ account and your site.

3. Add a header link to your page

This is the final step to make Google recognize you as the author of a page, and display your headshot by the search results.
The header link should be added to your HTML <head> section in this format:
<link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/111879430098741117584" />

The 21-digit number after https://plus.google.com/ is your Google+ account ID. You can find it on the address bar of your browser when you are on your own Google+ profile page.
You don't want to add this header link to all your pages. You want to be selective by adding it only to pages you want your G+ profile associated with. This often means only on pages that feature a useful article you personally wrote.

For example, I'll be adding the header link to this very page you're looking at right now.

APG vNext v4.4 - Easy Authorship Integration Built-in

Of course, since APG vNext 4.4 supports Google Authorship natively, you don't have to manually add the link to any page.
To begin using Authorship for your account, do the following:
  1. Add your Google+ profile link to your forum user profile (i.e. https://plus.google.com/111879430098741117584 for me)
  2. In the AdminCP, enable Authorship for your account
  3. Repeat this process for other members you want to attribute Authorship to. They could be other contributing authors in your organization.
All blog posts you wrote will now have the appropriate header link inserted. Once Google indexes your blog posts, it will show your headshot beside your search results.
In addition, you can also pick certain forums to enable Authorship attribution. For example, I'll be enabling it for the Knowledge Base forum so that all KB articles I wrote will have Authorship attributed to me, because not all KB topics are currently featured on my Blog.


Do I really want Authorship for my community?

Definitely. Google is taking Authorship very seriously. It is relatively new (2011) and because of the relatively complex process involved, not many people are using it yet.
This is a great opportunity for you to begin differentiating yourself on Google in a very visible way.
And for practical SEO reasons, as far as I can see, this actually has a big impact on Google search results. The click through rate rises too when you have your headshot shown by the results (understandably).
There is almost no reason not to use this feature, so at the bare minimum enable it for the account you use to write posts with.

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10 comments Leave a comment
UPC Deals
Looks good. I've set up my G+ account and hooked it up to authorship. I read on the web I also need a link somewhere in the post to my G+ profile. 
Something like <a rel="author" href="https://myG+profileurl?rel=author">written by Me</a>. Do I put it in the signature block?
2013/07/23 16:16:48
APGvNext Sam
Nope, you don't have to do anything manually after setting up the account in AdminCP. The correct link will be inserted automatically in the header and that's all it takes. You don't need anything extra to enable authorship.
I edited the post above to bold the section about adding links to post.
2013/07/24 04:12:13
How do I verify if I have set up authorship correctly? version 4.3 doesn't have authorship, so I think I need to manually add links to header for now? what file(s) should I add the link to?
2013/07/26 22:17:16
APGvNext Sam
What you can do now with 4.3 is you can add a link in your post, and wrap it in [html] tag, provided that your account has admin privilege.
The link should be written like this [html]<a rel="author" href="https://myG+profileurl?rel=author">written by Samuel</a>[/html] or something similar.
You can then test and see if it works using the structured data testing tool.
2013/07/26 23:16:14

I don't want to add Google Authorship :(
2013/08/17 08:46:32
APGvNext Sam
That one and this one are perfect examples of convicts blaming the police for doing their job. Not only that, but false logic too.
If you really pay attention to the entire post, you'll see this quote (correlation blamed for causality):
Did you know that 98.7 percent of the people killed in automobile accidents brushed their teeth the morning of the accident? Be careful driving home, today.

People when found guilty freak out and rather point fingers than admit their own faults. If you read Chuck's comment, this makes a lot of sense (emphasis mine):
Now I'm willing to concede that authorship may have played a role in this. But not for the reason the client thinks. Instead, it's possible that all of the changes on the site triggered a site-wide crawl, which then, kicked in the Panda algorithm and fallout.

This my friend is what I believe. Authorship is closely associated with content, which is what Panda penalty is designed for, too. It's just that I don't think Authorship would trigger a site wide crawl automatically. It was more likely the guy who implemented Authorship got excited and triggered the site wide crawl himself from the Google Webmaster Tools.
My speculation: Because Google values Authorship so much it places any site on the watch list when Authorship mark-ups are found. And the site in question was found to have had engaged in bad content practices that violated Google's guidelines, so BAM, down went his site.
I've followed these things for a while and if you go to Hacker News you'd see Jitbit's owner (whose site was damaged by the Penguin penalty) bashed so hard for publishing misleading info online blaming authorship... his backlinking scheme was exposed there and bashed to no ends. He was funny as he blamed his forum software and his oDesk SEO consultants for this "mishap," as if he wasn't responsible for any of those decisions...
If you broaden your search online, you'll find many good reports about rankings and CTR improvements associated with Authorship. Just make sure you are careful NOT to use authorship on products (ecommerce catalogs) or sales materials, but only on quality content pages (blog / select forum posts).
In short: use Authorship only on content you write and are proud of. If you ever did engage in bad SEO practices, don't use Authorship just to be safe I doubt anyone who's serious enough to build online communities would do anything like that.
2013/08/17 09:45:22
Amie at EBSQ
Beyond the person initially setting up authorship, do other contributors need to jump through many hoops to join in the fun?  That is, they can use any email address, etc... as long as they have a Google+ account listed in their profile, and I enable them as an author (so to speak)... , when they post in the blog or an enabled forum, authorship is automatic.... right?
2013/10/07 17:22:05
APGvNext Sam
Yes, they still have to become contributing authors for your domain (has to show in their G+ profile), as far as I know.
2013/10/07 19:48:04
I just tried to do this and Google now says this -

Authorship in web-search

Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search.
To learn about what markup you can use to improve search results, visit rich snippets.
I clicked on this link in your post above - "sign up for Google Authorship."
2015/03/28 23:08:35
APGvNext Sam
Unfortunately Google changes frequently and something worked yesterday may not work today. This is the nature of search engine.
2015/03/30 17:09:01

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