WARNING: nerd computer internet content to follow. If you don’t like this, walk away.

For months, I have been trying to get my Google Authorship established.

If you don’t run a website you probably just went “huhhhhhhnnn???” but as part of its ever evolving quest to supply only the highest quality results, Google last year started emphasizing “authorship” for its search results, authorship being that little picture you get next to your results and your name next to you result. Like this was a matter of LIFE OR DEATH, many web experts proclaimed. I have pretty good ranking, and I had all my settings correct or so I thought but I could never get that picture to pop up. WHY? I tried resetting all my meta settings, linked up my Google+ page—their most important criteria—and still nothing, even though I was in nearly 2000 circles, an unshabby amount. I went on Google’s webmasters forum and someone with inner knowledge of Google—you can never actually talk to someone who works at Google—walked me through everything I needed to do. STILL NOTHING.

But one thing she had suggested. My G+ profile photo was in black and white. Maybe that was the problem.

Well, I liked my black and white photo, but finally the other day I gave in and put up a color picture.

And a few hours later….


Voila. Of course, I hate this photo, but I dare not change it now.

Does this actually mean anything? Supposedly people like clicking on things with pictures, and now that my Authorship is claimed, Google is just going to love me to bits.

I posted this in hopes that, with my new found amazing ranking power, people having the same problems might find this solution. Because I live to help others. But seriously, the other thing I learned in all this: Google wants you to use Google+ and favors people who do. So join those circles and share those articles! If you’d like to Help The Beat (and who doesn’t) click on that Google+ button at the top if you would like to share a story with a nerdy audience of techies and Torsten, since that seems to be who uses G+.
BTW, Torsten has been rocking his Authorship badge for a while now. You go, Torsten! G+ I’m telling ya.


  1. My G+ profile pic is B&W (and an illustration, not a photo) and that shows up just fine. Maybe your new pic just got reindexed when you changed it.

    Now, just try getting the main image that Google uses on the search page changed when you do a search for yourself.

  2. I didn’t know about the authorship thing…
    I went zen, and voila oxen free, there I am?
    I had seen meself a few times on the Google News Page (I is a journo? Can I wear the snazzy hat with “PRESS” stuck in the brim?), and I’ve seen G+ shares attached to news feeds in GNews.

    If you’re over on G+, feel free to follow me, or even follow a community I started:

  3. P.S.
    There is an international standard for author identification, similar to the authority files that the Library of Congress and other libraries maintain.

    International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI)

    “The mission of the ISNI International Authority (ISNI-IA) is to assign to the public name(s) of a researcher, inventor, writer, artist, performer, publisher, etc. a persistent unique identifying number in order to resolve the problem of name ambiguity in search and discovery; and diffuse each assigned ISNI across all repertoires in the global supply chain so that every published work can be unambiguously attributed to its creator wherever that work is described.”


    I’m not listed, nor is Heidi (who actually has written a few books). There are two other “Heidi MacDonald”s there.

  4. Well, if I were still working there, you could’ve talked to me. But yeah, most Web companies don’t put anywhere near the resources into customer support that they should (and I know the arguments on both sides), and Google really is pushing G+ for reasons other than it being an attempt to match Facebook as a social network.

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