Inspired by the Wil Reynolds keynote at Affiliate Summit as well as Eric Nagel’s custom rel=”author” coding, I convinced my husband that I needed a plugin for my sites. Most of my sites run the Thesis theme, so I asked him to make it Thesis specific. He likes to think bigger than that, so he created it to run on any WordPress blog. You can visit the Easy Rel Author plugin page for more information if you are not running Thesis. If you are running Thesis, keep reading to find out how the plugin works for you.
What’s the Purpose?
If you are not sure yet why you even need to include rel=”author” on your posts, check out the search results below. I did a search for “seasonality in affiliate marketing.” Although my own post about my Seasonality session at Affiliate Summit ranks highest, Eric’s post grabs your attention first because of his picture next to it. How did he get his picture there? He’s included rel=”author” in his blog.
Before the Plugin:
Before you even modify your site or add the Rel=”Author” Plugin, you need to set up a Google Plus profile for yourself. You then need to add profile links FROM your Google Profile to any sites that you blog on. These go on your About page on the right side. (see my Google Profile below)
Install the Plugin:
The Easy Rel Author Plugin is very simple. Click here to download it. Install it and then choose whether you want your Author Byline to link to your Google Profile or whether you would like an additional line added to your footer. The default is your Author Byline.
If you choose the additional line added to your footer, you will also need to choose whether you want a small Google Plus image or your name for the link. You’ll see that for this blog, I chose the default Author Byline link at the top of my posts. If you want to use it as a footer, check the first option in the settings. If you want it as a footer but your name rather than the Google+ image, check both of these boxes:
Add Your Google+ URL to Your Profile:
For each user on your blog, go into their User Profile and add their Google+ URL to the Contact Info section.
Link Your Byline:
If you choose to have your Byline as the rel=”author” link, you will need to go into your “Thesis Option” “Display Option” “Bylines” and check “Link author names to archives.” If you are going the footer option, you do not need to do this.
Testing 1, 2, 3:
Although it can take a week or two to see your picture in the search results, you can use Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool to test your individual posts to see if they are working. I’ve heard that new posts take a couple of weeks but older posts can take even longer depending upon how frequently your posts are crawled. You may also need to fill out Google’s Authorship Request form. From what I can tell, Google is still manually deciding who can use this functionality and who cannot. The general consensus is that it will be turned on for everyone before too long.
Those are the basics. The plugin is still brand new, so I’m sure that we will quickly get a lot of feedback. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something built into Thesis soon to take care of this. If you are not using Thesis and still want to use the plugin, you can follow most of the above but go to Easy Rel Author Plugin for more information.
Please let us know if you are using the plugin and if you start seeing results!
Updated 10-11-11 The plugin works! It took me awhile to get my profile approved, but as you can see below, my picture is now showing up next to my search results. You can see that it is much bigger than the pictures below the search results where people have +1 the post. The only thing that I am confused about is that it seems like it is only working some of the time. I am guessing that it is just a matter of getting replicated across all of Google’s servers at this point? But it is progress!