Have you ever been cruising through Google’s search engine results pages to find that certain results are paired with a thumbnail-sized profile picture of the content’s author? Ever wonder how you could make it so your picture accompanies listings for the content you’ve authored? Then boy is this post for you!

Through Google Authorship, Google allows you to associate the content you’ve published with your Google+ profile, pulling your profile image and other information into the search engine results for the content you author. The catch? While the process for applying is relatively simple, there seems to be no clear rhyme or reason to whose authorship requests Google chooses to approve. That being said, the application process is easy enough that it’s worth applying. In this post, we’ll cover exactly why this new feature is beneficial to marketers, explain the simplest way to apply, and disclose some Google-related nuances you should know before embarking on the application process.

How to Apply for Google+ Authorship

Convinced it’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to apply for Authorship? Here’s how to do it:

  • Make sure your Google+ profile page has a profile photo that is a recognizable headshot.
  • Make sure you have an email address (for example, jdoe@yourdomain.com) on the same domain as your content (yourdomain.com).
  • If you don’t have an email address on the same domain, Google has an alternative method for linking your content to your Google+ profile. Learn how here.
  • In the “About” section of your Google+ profile, add that email address so it’s easier for Google to associate your Google+ account with your domain.
  • In addition, make sure each article you publish on that domain has a clear byline identifying you as the author (for example, “By John Doe” or “Author: John Doe”).
  • Furthermore, make sure that byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile.
  • Visit Google’s Authorship page, and submit your email address to Google. Regardless of how many articles you publish on this domain, you’ll only need to go through this process once.
  • In the “About” section of your Google+ profile, make sure the profile discovery box, “Help others discover my profile in search” is checked.