SEO QUESTIONS: How does Google know a guest post is by me?

SEO QUESTIONS: How does Google know a guest post is by me?
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The next in my series of short and snappy SEO Question and Answer blogs: this one from my Facebook page, raised by Andre Pech owner of Superheroes Inc.


SEO question:

“How can you ensure that your guest blogs are seen by Google as written by you?”


Short answer:

Sorry, there isn’t a short answer to this one!


Long answer:

Andre’s question relates to the issue of Google Authorship and author rank.

If you don’t already know, Google Authorship is the process whereby you link your Google+ profile to the content you create. (If you haven’t got a Google+ account yet then shame on you!)


Setting up Authorship on your own site is relatively easy:

  • Use a photo on your Google+ profile that’s recognisably you and recognisably human.
  • Add a by-line to your content that clearly states the content is by you (e.g. ‘By Kate Toon’) and ensure the name you use is the same as the one on your Google+ profile.
  • Check that you have an email address (for example, on the same domain as your content (
  • Visit the Authorship page and submit your email address to Google.
  • You can then see what your author data will look like in the search results using the structured data-testing tool.


Here’s what mine looks like:


If your email address doesn’t match your domain, it’s a little more fiddly – go here for instructions.


Setting up Authorship on someone else’s site is a little harder:

Option 1: First ask the site owner to add the authorship link to your story.

They do this by adding the following code:

<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>your name goes here</a>

Obviously they need to replace the [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:

<a href=”  rel=author”>Kate Toon on Google </a>

 Option 2. If the site is not willing to do this, then you can add the URL of the article you wrote to your ‘Contributor To’ section on Google+. As long as the article clearly states your name as it appears on Google+ you should be all good.


It’s also worth  +1 ing your story to make it easier for Google to join the dots.

But if your article has a by line your name in it Google should do a pretty good job of guessing the article is by you.

There’s a great article here about how Google gave Truman Capote authorship for a New York Times article published in 2010 by guessing. As you can see it’s by no means perfect and Google admits this – consider this whole guessing authorship thing a work in progress.

I’d just like to give a big credit to L Deanne Eaton, Dave Elliot and Joel Glenn Wright for their help with confirming my thinking for this article.


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