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How to Get Google’s Verified Authorship for your WordPress Blog

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How to Get Google’s Verified Authorship for your WordPress Blog

Everyone is talking about how the search is going social. Google +1 buttons are now integrated in websites, search results, and even in Google Ads. Well all that is important, but we are now seeing a rise in verified Authorship for Google search results.

Update (August 28, 2014): Google has announced that they’re killing Authorship, and search results will no longer show author names or photos.

Finally with the new redesign, we have added it in WPBeginner as well. Now when you search our articles, you will see the picture of our founder Syed Balkhi in the results like the screenshot below:

Google's Verified Authorship Results

We heard folks claiming that this is increasing click through rates and sometimes rankings as well. In this article, we will show you how you can get google’s verified authorship for your WordPress blog.

You need to add the following code in your theme’s <head> section. (Don’t forget to change the Google+ profile URL to yours). Normally you can do this by editing the header.php file

<link rel="author" href="" />

If you are using a theme framework or just want to put this in as a function, then you can add this by hooking into wp_head(). Paste the following code in your theme’s functions.php file.

add_action('wp_head', 'add_google_rel_author');
function add_google_rel_author() {
echo '<link rel="author" href="" />';

Next thing you need to do is go to your Google+ profile, and add link to your website under the contributors section.

Add Website to Google+ Contributor Section

Lastly, make sure that your +1’s are public on your Google+ profile or this won’t work.

Now you are done. Simply wait for Google to re-crawl your pages and show your face next to it. You can check to see if you did everything right by going to the Google Webmasters Rich Snippets Testing Tool. Below is a screenshot of what it should look like.

Google Rich Snippet Testing Tool Preview

This trick would work great for sites with individual authors. If you are running a multi-author blog, then you would have to be a little more nifty. You can add an additional user profile field for Google+. Then run a conditional statement in the header area to see who is the author, and display the appropriate URL. Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin will now includes this feature in the newest version.

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. sangeetha menon says:

    My image used to appear in SERP..from past 2 weeks it has disappeared though my posts are showing up in the search results and the image is showing up when i check in google authorship check. Dont know what to do as my traffic is affected :( Can you psl suggest what to do.

  2. Bijutoha says:

    I think its depend on premium wordpress site. ? Actually I never found any html editing option in my wordpress blog .

  3. Hussain says:

    Great Guide Sir I did it properly but one problem in my rich snippets google+ In Circles is not showing please help me to fix it.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Check your Google+ profile privacy settings, click on edit profile visibility settings and check the box “Show people who have added you to circles”

      • ifeanyi says:

        please help.after setting the my google+ profile account on the theme header,

        i coulnt locate contributos section on my google +profile
        help me out!!!
        Next thing you need to do is go to your Google+ profile, and add link to your website under the contributors section

        How to Get Google’s Verified Authorship for your WordPress Blog

        • WPBeginner Support says:

          ifeanyi, go to your Google plus profile while signed it with your Google account and then click on the About tab. Scroll down to Links and Other profiles section. Click on the Edit link under that section.

  4. Abdul Samad says:

    Bro Can You Tell Me How To Find header.php file please help me

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      Go to Apperance » Editor on your right hand you will see a list of files. You will find header.php among these files.

  5. Karnpreet Singh says:

    Great article. Just one question.

    Correct me if I am wrong. The authorship only works well for a blog, where we post articles and not for a company website. For instance on my website:

    It’s a design agency website, is it a good practice to do so?

    Please let me know.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      There is a solution to use rel=”publisher” but the problem is that it will only show your company’s Google page when someone specifically searches for it. So it is not very useful as it has no effect on how your articles appear in the search.

  6. Wade Harman says:

    Great information. Although I do believe that there is a WP plugin for people that aren’t for sure about going into the coding of their site. It’s free and I believe you can search Google Authorship in the plugin to get it. That’s what I used anyway, I’m no coding wizard and it really helped.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      We recommend using Yoast SEO plugin. It’s mentioned in the last sentence of the article.

  7. Aniruddh says:

    I have done all these on my blogger blog. The structured data preview also shows the image in the search. But in actual search it is not showing. Can any one help me.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Google doesn’t show it for everyone or for all pages. It’s entirely up to them.

  8. Gaurav says:

    Killer post man!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I tried lot of things, but this is a trick that actually worked for me.. Thank-you so much.

    Thank you YOAST too.


  9. Brett McNally says:

    Hi, thanks for this tutorial.
    I’ve added it to my photocrati header.php file as instructed but im quite confused as although the rich snippets tool says Authorship is working for this webpage.

    the bit below where you add your google+ page:
    “Please enter a Google+ profile to see if the author has successfully verified an email address on the domain to establish authorship for this webpage”

    When I enter the information, the result shows this:

    Email verification has not established authorship for this webpage.
    Email address on the domain has been verified on this profile: Yes
    Public contributor-to link from Google+ profile to Yes
    Automatically detected author name on webpage: Not Found.

    I’m confused as to why its saying: Automatically detected author name on webpage: Not Found.

    Any help on this will be GREATLY appreciated, my website is:


    • Editorial Staff says:

      The authorship is working fine. Google offers multiple ways to verify authorship. Email is one of the ways, but you are not using that way.

  10. Junaid Abbas says:

    Not working bro… In google rich sinipist tool it is working but in search result not working. I have done this 2 weeks ago but not working ..

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Google reserves the right to show the authorship or not. The fact that you can see it in the rich snippets means that the code is working fine. Also remember that Google shows everyone different results. So for some people, it might be showing the authorship.

  11. Chris says:

    I have a site that has a GA showing up – yea! Now, I would like to set up another website using the same authorship profile – will that work? Meaning, will this new site display the photo in the SERPs? Both the old and new site are WP. Thanks.

  12. RichardC says:

    Not seeing where in Google+ where to do this:

    “Next thing you need to do is go to your Google+ profile, and add link to your website under the contributors section.”

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Go to your Google+. Click on Profile. In the navigation bar, you should see About, Posts, Photos, etc. Click on About. Scroll down to the Links section and click Edit.

      Hope that helps :)

  13. Colin Crawford says:

    Hi thanks for the tip but I have already added the code to my header.php file and my photo still doesn’t get added although it shows under the Structured Data Testing Tool.


    • Editorial Staff says:

      Just because it shows in the rich snippet tool doesn’t mean that it will show up in the search results. Google has full control over what shows and what doesn’t. Right now, you have done your job. Now the ball is in Google’s court. Sometimes it shows for some users and not others. Its just a waiting game.

  14. Joshua Liebsch says:

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I?ll try to get the hang of it!

  15. Crismon says:

    A very good article! just waiting for google to recrawl my websites. thanks wpbeginner.

  16. Ale says:

    A maybe silly question. The google+ URL must be accompanied by “/posts” or it’s not necessary?
    The code worked perfectly

  17. Khaidir Zakaria says:

    Thank you for sharing the tips. Its works on one of my weblog.

  18. Vishesh Kachheda says:

    Hello, I Have Done All The Steps Mentioned, But When I Go To Google Structured Data Page, It Shows Author Verified But It’s Not Showing My Picture… :(
    Please Help…..!

  19. Adam Bryan says:

    This was beyond helpful. I’ve always seen sites that had this but never knew how to actually implement it onto my blog. Genius!

  20. Corey Barnett says:

    Great Post! I’m still having issues. My blog, is a site, not a site. Therefore, I’m not able to add the Yoast plugin, I don’t know where the functions.php file is located, and I didn’t see any place in my header to add the code above.

    Do you know of any way to make this work on a hosted site? Thanks!

  21. Khairul says:


    This works perfectly.

    I’m wondering if its possible to use the author meta’s Google+ field (User Profile Options) to populate the URL for that ?

    That way, different posts will have different authors displayed.


    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes, it is possible and fairly easy to do. As a matter of fact, Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin already have that option built-in.

  22. Jason Hill says:

    Thanks for the tip! I went to the webmaster tools and checked and it worked out. However I did receive this underneath:

    Extracted structured data
    Warning: At least one field must be set for HatomEntry.

    Warning: Missing required field “entry-title”.

    Warning: Missing required field “updated”.

    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”.

    Is this something I need to be concerned about? What does this mean?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Nothing to be concerned about. That is if you are using schema tags to add more things such as Recipe tags, ratings, location data etc.

      • Chad says:

        I have a WordPress site and I use both WordPress SEO by Yoast and the Yoast Local SEO plugin. I setup rel=author and I was given the following “green lights” on the Google Webmaster Tools page:

        “Authorship is working for this webpage.”
        “rel=author markup has successfully established authorship for this webpage.”
        “Publisher markup is verified for this page.”

        I also get the same errors Jason mentioned, which you said weren’t a big deal, but I don’t show the author profile on Google searches despite setting it up two weeks ago. Are they a big deal in my case or is there something else that I’ve done wrong? The website is, if you’re interested in checking it out. Thank you for whatever help you’re willing to give!

        • WPBeginner Support says:

          Chad you can try email verification method to establish authorship. Another method that could help is adding a rel=”author” link to the name of the person. Like for example if your google+ author profile has the name John Smith try adding this somewhere on your main page <a href="" rel="author">John Smith. Simply adding the user’s full name on blog posts could work too.

        • Chad says:

          Thanks for your reply. I installed WordPress SEO by Yoast, which is supposed to do that for me, I believe. The only think I can conclude is that perhaps I have setup my Google+ links wrong… Here’s the G+ profile for the author I’m trying to set as rel=author:

        • WPBeginner Support says:

          It looks right to us.

        • Chad says:

          That is so strange. I don’t know what’s going on then. I seem to have Google+ and WordPress SEO by Yoast setup properly, but it isn’t working. Thanks for trying to help!

  23. Nick Thorsch says:

    Has anyone tested whether you can add a Brand Page instead of an Author and have it show up in Google? That’d be more ideal for some sites, like this one, to have WPBeginner as the name, which is more pertinent to searchers and recognizable to readers, rather than it being the CEO or author.

  24. Kittie says:

    If I just go into the header.php file to add the authorship code, do I need to add that info to the functions.php file as well. I’m not certain if this is a case of choosing to do one or the other or do both. I’m a bit of newbie at this. Thanks.

  25. Aashish Dhiman says:

    hey i don’t have wp.head file in my theme. So is the second step is important to do????
    Pls help

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Just use the Yoast’s plugin.

      • Aashish Dhiman says:

        i have implemented it but how long does this whole thing takes?? like 2 weeks or a month.

        • Editorial Staff says:

          Nobody knows the answer to that. It can take 2 weeks, and it can also take a month. Sometimes, it happens right away, but you might not see it. Other people would. If you can see that it is working in the rich snippets tool, then google knows its working.

  26. Sawant Shah says:

    Thank you. It worked great!

  27. Malclm Ruthven says:

    I think I’ve successfully implemented Google authorship for my WordPress site and blog. For example, searching on Google for “Can I lower my house payments by filing bankruptcy” shows my blog article (a recent one) with my photo near the top of the results.

    My question is, can I establish authorship for my WordPress blog articles that were published before I set up Google authorship?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes it just takes time :)

      • Malcolm Ruthven says:

        >>can I establish authorship for my WordPress blog articles that were published before I set up Google authorship?<Yes it just takes time<

        You mean it happens automatically for those prior articles, or do I have to do something more?

        • Editorial Staff says:

          Once you implement the solution mentioned in this article, it is applied sitewide not just on your new articles. You will NOT have to do anything further. If you are doubtful, which you shouldn’t be, then check your older article with the rich snippet preview tool. It will clear that doubt. Hope that helps.

        • Malcolm Ruthven says:

          Thanks so much. I simply searched on google for the title of an old blog article, and it popped up in the search results complete with my photo.

  28. Harriet Yoder says:

    I did what you said. It was fairly simple though took a bit for me.

    One question: I checked it with the Rich Snippets Tool and noticed that two other authors showed up in the result. (I the sole author of the site.)

    I have a Twitter feed on my blog and had recently Tweeted to those two (rather famous) authors.

    Is that acceptable or should I run not walk to my blog and take down the Twitter feed?

    Thank you for an excellent post! Most helpful and timely for me.

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Not sure what plugin you are using for twitter. But if it is causing markup problems, then get rid of it.

  29. Karim says:

    Thanks for the tip, shame I had to join G+ to get this feature. I don’t like using social netwking sites much, they just fill your inbox with clutter. Is there a way to keep my g+ profile completely private and prevent anyone from viewing it? I’d just like to get the CTR benefit of a picture without the burden of having my information and photo public plastered in hi res (the thumbnail in serps is bearable)

  30. Ray says:

    My site is showing that it works perfectly in the rich snippets testing tool but does not show in the rankings. I have 2 other sites that work no problem. Could it be that this is a newer site?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      Yes, it takes some time for Google to start showing that for everyone. No one knows how long it can take. For all, it could be showing to some users and not others.

      • Ray says:

        thanks. My other 2 sites took about 1 week for the photo to start showing. My new site has been about 3 weeks now and is still not showing. I am show that the site has been crawled and re indexed. I hope it shows up.

  31. Chris says:

    Can you have one G+ account linked to multiple blogs? If not, what is the work-around? Thanks for the tips!

  32. Steve says:

    Thanks for this piece of info, had struggled with this; didn’t know +1 had to be public!

  33. Chetan says:

    So… the only thing that is required is the post page to have author’s google plus profile url with rel=”author” attribute?
    Is that all?

  34. Kingsley says:

    Hi can you specify where exactly are we going to paste the code in function.php? For me i use a plugin that alls HTML in the author bio fielf in wordpress admin profile page. This a bit off topic but any time i add a code in single.php it appears in my footer, how can i fix it?

  35. Anthony Gorss says:

    Excellent instructions. I had followed a similar one elsewhere, which just indicated to include my Google profile in the Author tag, but I still was not seeing my image appear on results. I was missing the “Contributor” section entry on my G+ profile, thanks for the missing data!

  36. Richard Stokes says:

    Thank you for a great article i was wondering if you could help . I am getting the below error and i am really not sure why

    linked author profile =
    Error: Author profile page does not have an authorship link to a Google Profile.

    So far I have made an authors page:
    as you can see this has a link page to my google profile page

    The above page has this link on it


    them i set up a Blog page with a link to the about me page on my site

    Then i went in the google+ profile and linked back to my about me page

    The only thing i can think of is that there are 2 of us writing for this website and maybe the wordpress site doest allow multiple authors?

    Any ideas why i cant get it to work?

  37. Paul says:

    How would I do this on a hosted WordPress blog? Mine is on

  38. Robert Scold says:

    Useful stuffs for any webmaster,,, Thanks for your post.

  39. Sauk says:

    I did the same as you described in the article, i am getting positive results as your in the Rich Snippets Testing Tool. But in the Google search there is not any small thumbnail beneath my search results. Any suggestions ?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      It takes time for those to appear. It also doesn’t appear for everyone. Google only shows those when they think it’s helpful.

  40. Srikanth Rao says:

    Nice tutorial, thanks. But i use My Theme Shop, Accent box theme for my site and it has an inbuilt option for Google Authorship, just adding my G+ id and its done.. :D

  41. Marco says:


    Might be dumb one but here we go. Does this work if your account is a corporate account? Or does the authorship need to be defined to a particular (singular) person?



    • Editorial Staff says:

      It does NOT work for business pages. As long as it is a personal account, it will work.

  42. Lindsay says:

    Can I connect my google+ page for my blog to the posts – or does it have to be my personal page?

  43. Pali Madra says:

    I tried my hand at using Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin to enable the google authorship of a blog I have but I’m afraid I could not understand how to go about it. The blog is multi author blog therefore adding the code is not the option that I can use unless I create a function in the functions.php file.

  44. Nino Blasco says:

    Great article, congratulations.
    I pasted your code and everything works.
    Thanks for sharing.

  45. PretusH NepallicA says:

    I tried Yoast SEO as well as some other plugins but still I’m getting these two errors
    Warning: Missing required field “updated”.
    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”.

  46. Gautam Doddamani says:

    i am using the seo plugin by yoast and it is pretty simple…we just have to go to our profile page and fill in our G+ profile url after that head over to the titles section and check the rel=author checkbox :)

  47. Pali Madra says:

    Sorry @WAQAS

    I like the new design. Change is usually good!

  48. Bob R says:

    First of all I’m very happy you got rid of Livefyre commenting system that would not allow me to post behind the firewall.
    I’m using the Yoast’s WP SEO plugin on almost all of my sites (except Thesis ones) and I was wondering if I still need to implement what you say here?

    • Editorial Staff says:

      If you use Yoast’s WP SEO plugin, then go to your author profile. There is a new field to add the Google+ profile URL. Simply add your URL there, and then you won’t have to do what we are suggesting here.

  49. Pali Madra says:

    Thank you for the information.

    Thanks to yoast as well for building the option into the SEO plugin for multi author websites.

  50. waqas says:

    o man… what you did what the site layout. the older one was better.

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