Unfortunately Google Authorship is no longer supported by Google. I have always thought that Google might be tracking domain owners to eliminate spam content or possibly to determine if particular domain owners are proven to provide useful content. I thought authorship might have been an extension of this. I liked it and thought it was useful to readers.
If you write a lot of website content like I do, identifying yourself to Google as the author of your content is important to both identify yourself to readers and help obtain top Google results.
Your photo will display in the Google search results alongside the link to your content. Images attract attention and displaying your photo alongside the search result will increase the number of website visitors.
If you have good content, visitors will recognize your photo and are more likely to read it. Increasing the number of visitors will improve top Google results naturally.
As indicated in Tina Courtney-Brown’s article “Google, SEO and Author Rank: It’s Getting Personal“, authorship is becoming even more important than linking. Tina provided a telling quote by Google Executive Chariman Eric Schmidt: “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification…”
It is fairly easy to identify your authorship with Google for any website and even easier if you’re using WordPress. Google Authorship for Dummies provides instructions which can be used for any website.
If you’re using WordPress, Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin will set up Google authorship automatically. All you have to do is fill in your Google + profile ID and link to your website from your Google profile. Yoast’s article “Push rel=”author” through your head” shows how to set up Google authorship.
Thanks to Yoast for making it real easy, I set up my profile and photo for Google authorship using Yoast’s plugin while writing this article. Since I just set up authorship here, it wasn’t yet displaying in Google search results but I tested it using the Rich Snippets Testing Tool at Google Webmaster Tools.
The Rich Snippets Testing Tool shows (image below) that the Google authorship is set up correctly but it shows my photo on the right. When it shows up in the top Google search results, my photo will be on the left.