There is a metric TON of confusing search results about Google Authorship on WordPress.com. To be crystal clear, these instructions are NOT for bloggers running your own WordPress.org download with all the cool markup plugins or access to edit PHP headers.
As of this writing, there are basically 2 answers to claim authorship on your WordPress.com posts and get your picture with search results in Google: 1) WordPress.com Support Forum says it can’t be done and 2) Mike Otgaar’s Authorship Markup for WordPress.com. I would like to sincerely thank Mike Otgaar, as his approach definitely does work.
However, it wasn’t until I started trying to verify authorship with other profiles like Kevin Fream on Squidoo, that the real epiphany occurred. Google is definitely to blame for all of the confusion, as the Manage links in your profile instructions lead you to believe you should put any About links in Other Profiles. This explanation is fine for YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or others. However for authorship of content, the real secret is to put the link to your blog about or author page URL on the “Contributor to” links of your Google Plus profile. Most people incorrectly assume this area is the URL for your blog like http://blog.yourblog.com, rather than the actual http://blog.yourblog.com/about. So once you understand the rules of the game, the process of linking your Google Plus Profile to your blog about page really is simple.
- Google Plus About “Contributor to” links http://blog.kevinfream.com/about/. Don’t worry about noise you may read on the web about adding rel=”me”, because Google does that for you. Your blog about page could be named “author” or even your name or whatever, just so it contains the link explained in the next step.
- Virtual CIO About page links to Google profile with the following HTML: <a title=”Kevin Fream” href=”https://plus.google.com/104331405514236824637” target=”_blank” rel=”me”>Kevin Fream</a>. Just add a sentence with this code using the Text tab in Edit Post somewhere in a paragraph or as the signature or closing. Change the title to something like “My profile on Google+”, 143314005514236824637 with your unique Google identifier, and my name with yours. Using this approach, you don’t have to add any code to the sidebar or the bottom of each post.
- Test with the Google Rich Snippets Tool using a URL from your blog such as http://blog.kevinfream.com/2012/11/07/first-in-google-is-not-the-goal/. It should verify and your picture should begin showing with search results in 2-3 days and if anyone copies your posts, we will all know the real author.
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