Monday, July 28, 2014

Social Media Monday—Google Plus for Writers—Part 1—Establish Google Authorship

by +EdieMelson @EdieMelson

I promised you all a series about Google Plus, and today I’m beginning to make good that promise. Unfortunately, one post is not going to cut it. So I’ll be sharing all I’ve learned about this valuable network over the next few social media posts.

Google Plus, an Introduction
Many people are confused by Google Plus. So I think the best place to start on this definitive guide is an overview of what Google+ is and what it is not.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that Google+ is going to replace Facebook. Actually, I’ve said several times that this is my hope. BUT that doesn’t mean that Google+ is a copycat network.

Far from it.

The scope and use of Google+ goes far beyond Facebook.

Facebook is a network based on general social interactions. Google+ is a network based on commonality, or if you prefer, passions. Interactions are built on shared passions.

There is one thing that separates Google+ from all the rest of social networks, and I’m surprised at the number of people unaware of this. This is a network that’s intimately tied into search engines. This means that if you do a search for a person or topic, Facebook and Twitter posts won’t often appear. Google+ posts will.

This is reason enough to be a part of this valuable network. You can see the value of posting regularly on Google+ if you’re in the process of building or solidifying an online platform.

Google Authorship
The first and most important thing you need to now about using Google+ is Google Authorship. To establish Google authorship you must link your content to your Google+ account.

There are two ways to do that.

The first option is through your email address. To establish authorship this way, your Google+ email address must be tied to the site where you post. For example, I would have to have the email address to tie me to The Write Conversation. The trouble with that choice for me is that I don’t have that email address.

There is a second way to establish authorship. You can also embed a line of html code in your website (or blog). This is a complicated process, and for those of us unfamiliar with the inner workings of code, one that is ripe for fatal errors.

Edie's Third Way
I have discovered a work-around for this second option that doesn’t require delving into the inner workings of my blog. If you look at the top of this post, you’ll notice my byline (By +EdieMelson  @EdieMelson) in both instances, my name is a hyperlink. The first is a link to my Google+ profile and the second is a link to my Twitter profile.

But the Google+ link doesn’t just link to my profile, it also contains the html code that Google MUST have to verify authorship. I discovered I can embed that code by using the html option when I compose my blog posts. I did it once and now just copy and past it into every post I write.

Here’s the general code:
?rel=author" target="_blank">google+name
  • You must insert your Google+ profile URL for the words highlighted in yellow.
  • You must insert your Google+ profile name for the words highlighted in blue.

This is how the code appears for me (see screenshot below):

Your Google+ URL may be a series of numbers. like the code at the top, or it may be your name, like the second code. Either code will work.
Step-by-step Instructions
There are two conditions that must be met to establish Google+ authorship using this method.
  • You must have a Google+ account
  • Your blogging platform must allow you to compose a post in html. Most, including WordPress and Typepad, as well as Blogger will allow you to do this.

1. Open your compose window and choose HTML (first arrow on the screenshot below). Place your cursor below the code already in place (second arrow on the screenshot below). IMPORTANT NOTE: sometimes there's not already html code in the window. If there's no code, just paste the code at the top of the window.

2. Insert your personalized code. (See screenshot below.)

3. Change your compose window back to the regular compose mode and THEN add the word BY and the Plus Sign (+) to let people know this is a link to your Google+ Profile. (See screenshot below.)

4. Now you’re going to have to modify your Google+ account. Go to your Google+ profile and click on ABOUT (see screenshot below).

5. Scroll down until you come to LINKS, then click on edit. Make sure that your blog is listed on the contribute to list (see screenshot below). 

6. The last thing you’ll want to do is verify that your Google+ authorship is working. Visit this site, plug in your blog’s URL and click PREVIEW (see screenshot below). This will only work once you have PUBLISHED the post with your Google+ link. It won’t work until you have published your blog.

This is just the beginning of utilizing this valuable network. In the posts to come I’ll be introducing you the best ways to use Circles, how to work Video Hangouts and even how to Broadcast a Hangout.

But for now, I’d like to hear from you. What questions do you have about Google Plus. I want this series to be valuable for you, so don’t be shy about asking questions. Your comments will dictate, to a large extent, what I cover here.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Are there benefits to #Google+ for #writers ? #SocialMedia Mentor @EdieMelson has a new series to help you decide (Click to Tweet)


  1. I'm bookmarking this series. There is a lot I need to learn about G+.

    1. Joan, thank you! Be sure to let me know if you have any specific questions. Blessings, E

    2. I'm definitely bookmarking this series too! Thank you, Edie.

  2. I've been on Google+ for a while, but I'm not positive I've established authorship. I'm off to check it out. :) Thanks, Edie. You ALWAYS give us such important information!

  3. Edie, thanks so much for the step-by-step instructions. I'm working on establishing myself on various social media outlets, and your posts are always extremely helpful.

    1. Sandy, I'm glad you're not putting your eggs all in one social media basket! Blessings, E

  4. Edie, I so appreciate that you are always keeping us up to date on new types of Social Media and giving instructions in great detail! I love this blog!

    1. Michelle, thank you so much for the encouragement! Blessings, E

  5. I know this is probably a no-brainer, but..."Google authorship" means that Google recognizes you as an author and the search engine will pick up your blog? Are there any agreements with this? This is the first time I have heard about authorship. So every time you write a post, you have to put the special code in it? And one more, how much more traffic has doing this brought to your blog? Thanks, Edie!!

    1. Katy, yes that's what Google Authorship means. If you can't add the HTML code to your website, yes you must add it to every blog post. But it's a clickable link and just adding that has increased my Google+ followers by over 100 this past week. As far as how much more traffic, I haven't been tracking my ROI too closely, but my general number of unique page views have increased by 10,000 a month since I started adding this. That's about a 20% jump for me. Making sure you have Google Authorship will also increase your search engine ranking significantly. Hope this helps! Blessings, E

    2. Thank you for explaining and reply! And thanks for telling us about it.

  6. This is great, Edie! Especially since my blog goes up once a week, and I'm preparing it now for tomorrow's posting. I have some questions based on what you shared today. How can I tell if my wordpress blogpost is in html? I just clicked to begin a new post, and I couldn't find where it said html. :)

    I did notice there's a box at the bottom that says, "Associate my Google+ information with this post." Does this mean I've got Google+ authorship already set up? I know, I probably sound blonde. And confused. :)

    Okay. I'm off to see if I can follow your other steps. I will figure this out. And I'm so glad you're addressing this! I've wanted to learn more about how to use Google+ more effectively.

    1. Jeanne, to compose a WordPress blog in HTML, click on TEXT instead of VISUAL. this option is at the upper right corner of your compose window. BUT, if you can just click a button to associate your Google+ authorship, I'd try that first. Click on that option, publish the post and check to verify your Google+ authorship. Let me know if that works. Because yours is a self-hosted site instead of a free WordPress site, that's probably what the difference is. Blessings, E

  7. Okay Edie. I've worked on this an hour and its not working. When I go to the google structured data page it says "Authorship is not working for this webpage." Heavy sigh...

    1. Jennifer, email me and I'll help.

  8. Edie,

    Thanks for doing this series. I, too, am getting fed-up with Facebook's randomness when it comes to showing me posts and sharing my posts.

    I have my blog ( connected to my Google+ account, but it posts only to my page instead of posting publicly (only I can see it :( ). I tried a few different things, but couldn't figure out how to change it. Advice?