A new website to keep all my personal information!
There are a lot of things to consider setting up a new website. Crucially, people searching for it on the internet need to find the site.
This is a website to my name. The intention is to use it for basic information about myself, publications, and similar things. Part of this is linking the website to the various (often ill-maintained) social media profiles I have out there.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter and similar sites, Google’s own social network Google+ integrates with its search engine. If one connects a personal website or blog to a Google+ profile, Google search results will display the Google+ profile picture.
This, hopefully, should make it easier for people searching on Google to find this website.
Here is a screenshot of what I hope to do.
How To Do It?
To get my face in the Google search results, three things are needed:
- A Google+ Account (yeah… another social network)
- A snippet of code on this website to name the author (i.e.me!)
- A link on the Google+ profile to this website
- Verify your Authorship with Google
1. Setting Up a Google+ Account
I start by getting a Google+ account. Another (for now) empty social profile to populate…
To get your own, go here to get started.
It is a bit uncomfortable giving Google even more personal information (on top of my email, YouTube, etc..). No way around it, I suppose.
2. Identifying the Author of a Website
Once this is done, there needs to be bits of special code on the website itself – www.sebastiangehart.com in my case, that tell Google who the author is. This is just a regular link but with a special element.
The link should look like this:
<a href=”http://YourGoogle+ProfileAddress” rel=”author”>Google +</a>
It is really important that the re=”author” part of the code is included. This is the snippet that is what tells Google who the author of that content is.
For this WordPress site, I got this Google Author Link plugin to do it for me.
3. A Link Back From Google+
As Google requires the connection to go the other way as well, the site an author is contributing to must also be referenced in the Google+ profile.
Unfortunately, Google+ is changing their interface often.
As I write this, the “about” section of a profile has a “links” section with options to add links both to sites owned by an author and sites he or she is merely contributing to.
The “edit” button is on the bottom of the boxes.
4. Verify your Authorship with Google+
Finally, one needs to verify the authorship with Google themselves using this link.
To do so, Google asks for an email that matches the domain (i.e. not a gmail-address!).
Once this is all set up, usually by clicking a confirmation link in an email from Google, things should be good to go!
Test the Result with Google’s Rich Snippet Tester
Make sure to test the setup using Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool.
Simply paste a link that you’d expect to display your picture as an author into the tool.
Once the process is clear, it’s certainly easy enough to do!