Google Authorship Markup and the Beginning of Visual Search Cues

Recently Google announced they were piloting a program to start presenting author information in organic search results. As this feature is beginning to gradually roll out, I?m struck by what a huge opportunity this could be for real estate practitioners. Imagine having your quality content displaying to locals via search, with your avatar included directly to the right.

Here is an example of what we?re talking about:

Authorship Markup is essentially a way for Google to connect authors with the content they create and then show what I’m calling Visual Search Cues in the organic results. ?This is all done by using HTML5 microformats such as the rel=”me” and rel=”author” tags to identify your content.

How do I setup Authorship Markup with my Blog?

The first thing you?ll need is a Google Profile, which is already a good thing to have based on the fact it?s highly search optimized and Google lets you link directly from the profile to your website, blog, external social profiles and more.

TIP: Make sure that your avatar is ?a good, clear headshot of yourself? and does not include a logo.? If it does, Google has said that they will not show it in the results.

To establish authorship of your content, you?ll need to complete two steps:

(1) Link the blog to your Google Profile
(2) Link your Google Profile to your blog or blog?s author page

Step 1 ? Linking your blog to your Google Profile

You may have noticed, with WordPress v3.2, on your individual post pages the link from your name to the author page includes the rel=”Author” parameter. That’s awesome, and exactly what we need. All you?ll need to do is add a link from the Author page on your blog, to your Google profile. The link should be in this format:

<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google+</a>.

Replace [profile_url] with your actual Google Profile URL, which will look similar to this: Also make sure not to delete the ?rel=author parameter

If you prefer to use a button, use the Google profile button generator

Step 2 ? Linking your Google Profile to your blog?s Author page

Next you’ll need to create a link from your Google profile to your blog or blog?s author page. Do that by visiting your Google Profile and selecting “Edit Profile”. Next click on the “Links” area located on the right-side of the screen and include a link to your blogs homepage, or if you are writing on a multi-author blog you can link directly to your Author page. Now check the box that reads “This page is specifically about me.”

One last thing…Google also recommends that after you?ve completed these steps you should complete this form.


I can see this feature being a huge hit with content creators and even searchers,?especially?as search and social seem to be converging. ?We’ll be able to spot our favorite authors easier, and with that we’ll also be able to reach out and connect from a search results set. It’s still?unclear?how quickly newcomers will be added to this new index, but I would highly recommend getting things setup from your end.

Here’s to seeing you in the search results!

About Reggie

Reggie Nicolay is founder of the real estate technology blog, and is the Vice President of Marketing and Social Media for the Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), a property database for REALTORS®. Reggie was named one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate for 2010 by Inman News.