How to Setup Google Authorship With The WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin

Posted · 38 Comments

[soliloquy id=”8488″]

Google Authorship (rel=author) allows you to link your Google+ profile to the content you create on your blog, website or other websites. Once rel=author is setup correctly, Google search engine results displays a photo of the author that links to their Google+ Profile, a link to the content authored, along with a snippet of information about the content. The author’s photo, profile and other information makes them stand out, adds credibility and provides more click throughs to the authors website. This has become an important internet marketing strategy.

Google Authorship Results

Another example I love to show is Joost de Valk’s authorship results. Go and type “how to set up authorship using yoast”. You will see many rel=author results. Click on his photo – here you will see other content he has authored making him an authority and expert in his field.

Yoast author authority

WordPress SEO by Yoast

We use the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin to optimize our pages and posts and to setup rel=author. Yoast handles rel=author and makes it easy for you to attribute the home page to one author – it also does rel=author for individual authors. For example, there are the two of us at elSue who write blog posts. We each have our own User Profile and Google+ Profiles. We can select one of us to represent elSue for the home page, while we still get credit for our individual blog posts.

In order to claim rel=author using Google+ and the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, I’ll walk you through the following steps:

[ba-list style=”check”]
  • Link your content to your Google+ Profile (if you don’t have a Google+ account, create one)
  • Install the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin (free). If you already have the plugin installed, great.
  • Go to your website User Profile and add your Google+ link to establish Google Authorship
  • Assign a Home Page author if you have more than one author on your website
  • Test with the Webmaster Tools Structured Data Testing Tool

Note: If you need to setup a Google+ account, go to. or and setup your Google+ profile.

Google+ Profile

Once you have created your Google+ account, click on “Profile” and “View profile as: Yourself”. Fill in the information to build your profile page. Most importantly- add a nice “head shot” photo of yourself. This will be the photo used when your blog posts or articles appear in Google’s search results. [ba-list style=”check”]

  • Click on Profile
  • View profile as: Yourself
  • Head shot: a nice head shot always works well
  • Click on the About tab to add in your “Contributor to” links
  • Scroll to the bottom of the About  page you will see “Contributor to“, click on Edit
[/ba-list] Contributor to Edit

Contributor to

Add your website first and any other websites or blogs you write articles for. For example, elSue quest posts on Search Engine People. We did the following so that those posts will show up in the search results with the Author profile. All you need to do is:

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  • Add custom links
  • You can edit them too
  • Be sure it is formatted with the http://www. (see example below)
  • Save and repeat by clicking on “Add custom link”
[/ba-list] Add edit G+ Contributor Links   Note: Make sure your +1′s are public on your Google+ profile or it won’t work (Per Yoast)

WordPress SEO Yoast Plugin

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  • If you do not have the Yoast Plugin installed, go to your WordPress Dashboard > menubar > Plugins
  • At the top of the page click on the Add New button
  • Search for WordPress SEO by Yoast – it is on the top with 4.5 stars
  • Click “Install Now” and “Activate

Add your Google+ Profile link to your website user profile

To connect your WordPress user profiles with your Google+ Profile, you will need the link from your Google+ Profile page. Login to your Google+ Page – it is at the top in your browser. I used a profile that is not using the new Vanity URL feature – copy the Http:// through the end of the numbers – don’t copy anything else. G+ URL

Google+ Vanity URLs

Many of you have the Google+ Vanity URL for your Profile page. We have tested this using Yoast. You can enter your Vanity URL in the Google+ field instead of the long address with all of the numbers.

[ba-list style=”check”]
  • Login to your WordPress website
  • Go to the Dashboard menu and click on Users and then “All Users”
  • You will see the User Profiles
  • If you want to add a new user, click on “Add New”

Dashboard Users

Add the Google+ Profile link

Add Google+ URL

Webmaster Tools – Structured Data Testing Tool

Go to Webmaster Tools — Structured Data Testing Tool to test it out. I used a blog post from our website. Past in the link and click Preview.

Test rel=author with Structured data tool

Yeah! It Worked. After you finish and your test results are good, go and do some searches in to see if your author photo and profile shows up in Google’s search results. I search using my name and company “Susan Walsh elSue” (don’t put in the quotes). Or search for a recent article or blog post you authored. It may take a while to for you to show up in Google’s search results – be patient it’s well worth it. If you are not writing posts or articles on your blog or website, get going. You can also guest post if you have time to reach a wider audience.


We welcome your comments. Google+ Authorship is improving all of the time. Our next blog post is on “How to Setup Google Publisher“. It’s a great way to brand your business. We use Yoast to do both rel=author and rel=publisher and install it on the websites we create.

Note: We don’t get paid or receive anything from Yoast for touting how much we like their plugin.

How to Setup Google Authorship With The WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin was last modified: January 24th, 2014 by Susan Walsh
38 Responses to "How to Setup Google Authorship With The WordPress SEO by Yoast Plugin"
  1. Extremely helpful. Thanks.

  2. Juana says:

    Hi there, I log on to your blog like every week. Your
    story-telling style is witty, keep it up!

    Also visit my website goji max (Juana)

  3. paralegal says:

    Can i use other wordpress plugin for google Plus authorship?

    • Susan says:

      Hi, what other WordPress plugin are you asking about? Sorry for the delay in responding to you a little more detail in your question will help. Thanks.

  4. Bruce Frazer says:

    Google Authorship will become a very important part of SEO in the near future. Google is strongly leaning towards valued content as a means of getting a good Ranking.My feeling is that Authorship will be a part of that process….Great Information Susan

    • Susan says:

      Thank you! Yes, it’s already very important. If you are on Google+ follow Mark Traphagen, he’s an expert on Authorship and a wealth of information.

  5. Inudu says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. It worked the first time. Very east to setup and it shows my picture!

    • Susan says:

      Your welcome Inudu – It’s pretty easy once you know where to go. We love the Yoast plugin, not just for Authorship, but SEO, I should do a post on that : ).

      Be sure to signup to receive more of our blog posts – just put your email in the Stay Up-to-Date box.


  6. ZenTrips says:

    Thank you for you article.
    I followed it but when I test my website with Structured Data Testing Tool it show to me 32 errors!!
    It is always Missing update
    Any help about how to solve it?
    Thank you

    • SusanW says:

      Hi Pilar,

      The instructions are working for others (see the comments). Were you able to get it working?


      • ZenTrips says:

        I was getting crazy because I followed all the steps but I couldn´t see the author picture in searchs, but now I have read that Google take it out. So, no problem!!
        I continue having many Structured Data Errors (updated and entry-title) but I think that is a different thing.
        Thank you

  7. Satnam says:


    Thanks a bunch. I had been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out the switch between personal and business G+ accounts. You made it easy. Thanks.

  8. Great article.

    However, Google (very) recently made some changes and the author picture does no longer show up in search results.

    Bill Slawski wrote a great, in-depth blog post on the topic:

    He also explains that, allthough people may regret that their search results no longer visually stand out more than others, it’s still very worth while to set up authorship as described above.

    • SusanW says:

      Thanks Chris! I appreciate you adding the link to Bill’s article. I follow him on Google+, he’s a genius and whatever he write you know if a 100% correct. As you said, it’s still very worthwhile to setup authorship!

      I also follow Mark Traphagen, he has tested and written many articles on Google Authorship. Both Bill and Mark participate in many Hangouts on Air where you can learn a lot about Google+ and Local Search.

      PS: sorry for the late reply – where did the summer go!

  9. Amina says:

    Hey Every One Hope You All Are Good i have A question And Its Relly Important For me I Have A website( movies Website Please Search On Google ( Kick Full Movie Watch Online) You See The first link show all time on google 1st page and its not a very great website but the link show with a movie picture i have the same link same movie But my post not show upto 15+ pages 🙁 Please Tell Me How I Show The Picture
    For A girl Its Not Easy To run a website 🙁

  10. Thanks, very easy to follow…

  11. Wow, we have been trying to figure this thing out, a friend of ours told us we should be setting this up for our website, but not knowing too much about websites we found it rather difficult, after 4 or 5 different sites we worked it out using your instructions. Thank you.

  12. Thanks for the tutorial. It also worked the first time for me, Very east to setup and as one of your previous guests says, Google no longer displays my picture!

  13. Andrzej says:

    Hey, Easy to understand finally…So when I have Yoast plugin then I do not need to add rel=author or rel=publisher?
    Best regards

  14. San says:

    Hi Susan,

    Your post is very helpful but i tried your steps but mine not working as it should work. Could you please help me with this?


  15. Gideon says:

    I wanted to check if you have plans to update the options in light of recent news from Google – ?

    • Gideon says:

      Sorry, meant to leave the question on Yoast’s site!

      • SusanW says:

        No problem Gideon, thank you for the update on Structured Data. This is great that businesses social sites can show up on the Knowledge graph. I’ll look into more and post an update here since this has all changed.

  16. Mary Davis says:

    Hi Susan, thank you for sharing this informative piece of work. I have been using yoast plugin since last few years. The article is very descriptive and covers all the essential points for yoast plugin. It will be a great help for beginners.

  17. Manos says:

    Hi and thanks for the post.
    I followed the instructions but In my case it doesn’t apear in the source code. Is it possible to be a theme issue?

  18. Justin says:

    Your soliloquy plugin isn’t working here; might want to look into that. Also the text highlight is black and the text is black.

    Just thought you should know. 🙂

  19. Susan says:

    Thanks for the mention in your 5 WordPress Tips and Tricks You Need to Know blog post!

We'd love to hear what you have to say!

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