Add your picture to Google search results – Rich snippets

Google Search Rich SnippetMaybe you noticed the fancy Google search results containing profile pictures already.

When you don’t have a clue what I mean, you can find an example of a Google Search rich snippet at the top of this article.

Pretty neat don’t you think? What are you thinking.. you do want to have the same fancy search results for your site?! I will try to explain how to achieve this in as less steps as possible.

The ‘trick’ contains of two parts: One part is to create a (basic) Google Plus-account with a profile picture, the other part is a small modification at your blog or other kind of website where you contribute content.

Assume your blog/website has the address: http://blog.videgro.net/

Part 1: Google+ (Plus)

First step is to  Create a Google+ profile. Visit: https://plus.google.com/ create an account and make sure you uploaded a (great) profile picture.

In your Google Plus-profile modify the ‘Contributor to‘ in  your ‘About-section
Click: Profile->About->Links->Edit->Contributor to->Add custom link
Fill link to your blog i.e. http://blog.videgro.net.

Part 2: Blog / Website

At your blog or website where you contribute your content, you have to create a link back to your Google Plus-profile. You have to add ‘?rel=author‘ at the end of the URL to your Google Plus-profile. As example the filled in link to my profile:
<a href="https://plus.google.com/116059122755738413391?rel=author" target="_blank">Visit me at Google+</a>
Replace the number: 116059122755738413391 with your Google Plus-ID. You can find your ID by clicking Profile while you are at Google Plus. In the address-bar of your browser you will find the ID.

One can repeat these steps when you are contributing to more sites. Make sure you add these sites to the your Google+ About Section and add a link from the article to your Google+ account.

Testing

The first test is to preview the Google Search rich snippet. You can perform this using the ‘Structured Data Testing Tool‘. Visit: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets. Enter here the URL of your blog/website and check the preview. Contains the snippet your profile picture and does the result says: ‘Authorship is working for this webpage.‘? Test passed!

Side step: Add your site to Google

Is your site indexed by Google Search engine already? Find this out by (quick) checking which pages Google indexed already. Go to (the search engine of) Google: http://www.google.com and fill as query the text: site:<your website domain> this is without http:// i.e. site:blog.videgro.net. When this query returns with zero results, it’s a good moment to add your blog/website to Google Search. You can perform this via Google Webmaster Tools: http://www.google.com/webmasters/or wait till Google finds your site itself via another site which is linking to your site.

Anyway no matter if you add your site yourself using Webmaster Tools, wait till Google finds your site itself or your site is indexed already, you have to wait a while (hours/days) for the Google Search engine robot till it crawls your blog/site and processes your content (again).

Now check the Google search results regularly till it returns the expected rich snippet with your profile picture. You can do this by using the ‘site:‘-query in Google. You can add this query directly to the URL like this: https://www.google.com?q=site:blog.videgro.net This URL will show the indexed pages at the domain: blog.videgro.net.

Further reading