Put Headshot Images in Google Search Results

Google Plus Search Result ExampleGoogle recently announced highlighting authors in Google search results. It means you can get your headshot to appear next to search results for some pages. Since few photographers will add this functionality to their websites, it’s an easy way to get your search result to stand out among the crowd of competition. Plus, it adds a personalized element – very important for service products like photography where searchers instantly want to know who they are going to hire. Here’s what I’m talking about.

To set everything up you need to link your site to your Google Plus account and vice versa. When linking from your site, a special “rel” tag needs to be added to link. This post explains how to do everything in more detail so you can look like this:

Search results showing author headshot

Step 1 – Create a Google Account

You need to be on Google+ (plus.google.com) to make this work, so head on over and create your account.

Step 2 – Link to Author Page from Google+

While logged in to Google, click your name that appears in the top right of any Google page, then choose Profile.

Go to the top right of Google Plus and click the profile link

Click the edit profile button for Google Plus

Click the edit profile butotn for Google Plus

Click the links section and add a link to your author page from your blog. The author page is a page that lists all your blog posts like this http://photographywebmarketing.com/author/zachprez/. You can probably just replace my username “zachprez” with your WordPress login username. If your username is Admin, now would be a great time to update that (click Users from the left side of your WordPress Dashboard). Don’t forget to check the box “This page is specifically about me.”

Click the links section to add your author link

Step 3 – Link to Google+ from Your About Page

Your photography website must link back to your Google+ page. I recommend adding a basic link from the text on your About Page. Everyone has a short URL for Google+. Mine is plus.google.com/zachprez. I heard you can just use your gmail username to automatically generate your short plus.google.com URL (it works for me) but I have seen it not work for some others.

Also consider adding links to Google Plus pages from bios at the end of blog posts. Since Google strips out the rel=”me” tag you would normally add manually, follow the steps in this article: How to allow authors to add rel=”me” to links in their bio’s

Step 4 – Add rel=”me” in Links on Your Site

Add a rel=”me” attribute within the link to your About page. Example <a href=”/about.html” rel=”me”>About Me</a>.

WordPress users can do this manually from the body of a page, but if you want to get rel=”me” into the top navigation link of your blog without hacking your blog code, read this article by Yoast: How to add rel=”author” to a link in your menu

If you have multiple authors for your blog, you can define each author via it’s WordPress author page. What is the author page? On some blogs (like mine) there is a byline below the post headline that links to all posts written by that author. ┬áThe latest version of WordPress automatically adds rel=”author” in links that point to the author page. If you look at the source code you can find the rel attribute already there.

Step 5 – Preview Your Search Result

If everything went to plan, you should see your headshot appear next to search result when you test a blog post URL in the Google Rich Snippet Tool.

Not sure how long it will take to see your face in actual search results. Google says they are in pilot mode still, but I would expect this roll out to everyone in the near future.


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  1. says

    Finally figured :) I tried to get a vanity url for my Google+ profile using gplus.to but that did not work well. You have to use the actual Google+ URL. How do you get personalized URL from Google?

  2. says

    Your individual blog posts say By Dharmesh – that is where you can link your name to an author page that lists all your posts, and the link should have the rel=”me” attribute. @Dharmesh

  3. says

    @bethanygilbert Thanks for offering to help. I got one of my blogs working but can’t get it to work on the other. Instead of linking to my author page, the snippet tool finds my RSS feed link as link to author page and I can’t get it to work. Any thoughts?

  4. says

    ´╗┐Definitely on a regular website, not sure about Typepad. Essentially every contributor to a blog has an author page (which can also be your About page for the blog owner) and you need to link that to a Google profile with rel=me. Advanced details here on the Google blog: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=1408986I will note that results are only working for a handful of bloggers in the world, but I suspect it will roll out to everyone soon.´╗┐

  5. says

    @zachprez I did both. I run 2 blogs. I got it running on one but on the other, for some reason, the extracted author page link in rich snippet tool points to my rss feed link. I can’t get it to point to my “about” page. Any ideas?

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