You may have recently noticed that lots of Google search results now show profile pictures of authors alongside the result for the page. I think this adds a nice element of trust to the link, as you can see the person who wrote the page and you can be pretty sure the content comes from a person as opposed to a content aggregator or such like. As always, there’s no exact formula to controlling the search result information, but Google has published some advice for setting this up for your blog or website.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Have a good, clear Google+ profile picture
  • Make sure you have your website added to the ‘Contributor to’ links on your Google+ profile
  • Add and verify an email address at the same domain as your website
  • Make sure there is a clear byline on your website articles which attribute you as the author (with the same name as shown on your Google+ profile)
  • Add a link to your Google+ profile from your content with the rel=”author” attribute

Once you have followed these steps, check a page from your website using the ‘Rich Snippits’ tool, which parses your webpage and shows you how it’s likely to appear in search results. It may take a while (up to a couple of months) for your pages to finally appear in Google search results with your Google+ profile image alongside the link, so don’t expect it to happen overnight, but in the meantime you can make sure you are giving Google all the information it needs to parse and display your website properly and accurately.

If you have any thoughts or comments on getting profile pictures to display next to search results please add them to the comments section below - I’d love to hear your views.