Google Plus SEO: Enable Author Profile Snippet in SERPs

Google Plus has a lot of SEO buzz right now thanks to Google’s own initiative feeding itself.  The purist attitude of providing non-biased information is moot as Google promotes its failed Facebook knock-off in search results.  Heavy Google Plus users are rewarded in search results.  For online organizations to remain competitive and use all the opportunities, they now must invest into the Google Plus community.  But there’s a trick to enabling your thumbnail and Google profile links in SERPs (follow the how-to below).

Google Plus Results in Web Search ResultsGoogle Plus Rich Snippets in SERPs

Google Plus search results appear prominently, with color photos in the top right column ABOVE paid ads.  These are the search results in Google Plus for the search query entered into Google web search.  Since there is only a small community, you have a chance to jump in now, ahead of your competitors and start appearing at the top of Google Plus search results that are inserted into regular web search results.  Additionally, there is a Google Plus rich snippet including your profile image thumbnail, inserted inline with organic results that links to your Google Plus profile.

Personally, I feel Google is bribing SEOs and internet marketers to join its failed community by offering extremely valuable (yet free to Google) webpage real estate.  However, here’s how to enable your Google+ profile snippet in search results.

Enable Google Plus Author Rich Snippets for Your Content

Nevertheless, a Google+ Plus share button for blogs are required to keep up with the Jones’s.  You may still get an  advance on your competitors if you set up your Google Plus business page before them and get a head start on building some community interaction.  Additionally, you will need to be sure your rel=author and rel=me tags are in place on your blog so that Google can credit your content to your Google+ author profile.  The link on your post to your author bio must include rel="author".  A link to your Google profile page must be present on your author bio page.  The link to your Google profile must include rel="me".  On your Google profile, create a link under “Contributor to” section to your author bio page.  Use the Google rich snippet testing tool to verify all the links are in place.  Yoast has a great step by step for implementing the rel authorship tags on your blog.

Google Plus Share Button Code

UPDATE: Standard Google Plus button now provides share functionality.  No code updates required on your part if you already have a Google plus button.

Currently there is no Google Plus share button available for social share platforms like add-this or add-to-any.  There is however a hack out there that uses the mobile Google Plus share code that has been adopted for WordPress.  I used the hack and installed it into this blog.  After sharing, the thumbnail, snippet and link looks like this:

Google Plus Share Button Feed Snippet

Feel free to test the button and share article all you want on Google Plus 😉

I actually use WP Socializer plugin to pull in ShareThis along with other social sharing button code.  It uses short codes for the URL and title.  Here is the Google Plus button code the way I am using it as a custom button in WP Socializer.

<!–Google Share–>
<div style=”float:left; width: 65px;”>
<a href=”{title} – {url}” onclick=”‘{title} – {url}’,’gplusshare’,’width=450,height=300,left=’+(screen.availWidth/2-225)+’,top=’+(screen.availHeight/2-150)+”);return false;”><img src=”” width=”55″ height=”22″ alt=”Share {title} on Google+” title=”Share {title} on Google+”></a></div>
<!–/Google Share –>

Alternatively, you can use this code to hard code the button into your template:

<a href=”<?php the_title(); ?> – <?php the_permalink(); ?>” onclick=”‘<?php the_title(); ?> – <?php the_permalink(); ?>’,’gplusshare’,’width=450,height=300,left=’+(screen.availWidth/2-225)+’,top=’+(screen.availHeight/2-150)+”);return false;”><img src=”” width=”55″ height=”22″ alt=”Share <?php the_title(); ?> on Google+” title=”Share <?php the_title(); ?> on Google+”></a>

The original code came from here:

Update: 2/27/2012…

Google Plus profile in search results

Google Plus Profile Appearing in Search Results

Its been 3 days since sharing this post, and it now shows the Google Plus profile snippet with my thumbnail in search results.  I only have 3 people that have me in their circles (people following my Google Plus post feed from within their account) and 9 people in my circles (people who I follow).


There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Gregory Lee Author at 7:13 am

    Verifying authorship has become much easier now. 3 steps…

    1) Make sure in the by-line, your author name exactly matches the name on your Google Plus account.

    2) In your Google account, add the website where you contribute.

    3) verify an email address using the domain from the website where you contribute (

  2. Pingback: Google's Content Authorship & Verified Profiles [Guide] - Sandstorm Digital

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.