Google now routinely highlights author information in search results. For instance, if you are looking for gadget reviews on Google and one of the search results is pointing to a column by David Pogue, you might also see a thumbnail image of Pogue - picked from Google Profile - next to the snippet. Google may also display the circle authority in case that author has a presence on Google Plus.
Here’s an illustrated tutorial on how you may display your own profile picture in Google search results next to articles that you may have written on your website or on someone else’s website. You need to create a Google+ profile and then link it your website using the rel=”author” markup.
It takes some effort to implement the authorship markup and the other big hurdle is that it requires you to edit the HTML code of your website. Some authors may find it too technical while others, think guest contributors, may not have access to the site template at all. Fortunately, there’s now a simpler option as well.
Instead of modifying HTML templates, you can just include your name and email address on a web page (using the mailto syntax) and Google will automatically connect it to your Google Profile. Here’s how:
Step 1: Go to your Google Profile, page, click the Edit Profile button and then add a Work email. Make sure that the visibility of this email address is set to “Anyone on the web.”
Step 2: Click Verify to verify your email address. You’ll then see a little “tick mark” next to your email address in Google Plus – see example.
Step 3: Next open any of your web articles that you would like to “claim” in Google Search and add either of these two lines in your article:
Option 1: Use both email address and name together
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">David Pogue</a>
Option 2: Link the author’s name to his Google+ page
Send <a href="http://plus.google.com/1158131688984505">David Pogue</a> an email at <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>
The important point is that all web pages, that you have authored, should include your name and your “work” email address that you previously verified in Google Plus. That is the only signal Google can use to verify your content ownership.