Google Authorship FAQ
[Updated July, 4]
Google changed the way Authorship is displayed in search results, so I have updated this thread
What is Google Authorship?
Google Authorship is the process of digitally signing or claiming your web content and tying it with your Google Plus personal account using rel="author".
How do I verify my Google Authorship of Articles I wrote?
1. Google Plus account
- Set up Google Plus account
- Google + profile pic = recognizable headshot
2. “Author”-Optimize your content
- Your article has your name ("By Your Name").
- Your byline name = the name on your Google+ profile.
3. Tie the two
- Each of your articles links to G+ Profile with ?rel=author at the end
- Your email address on the same domain as your content (& it’s verified). Check is your mark-up is set-up properly: Google Structured Data Testing Tool
- OR Your domain is linked to from “Contributor to” section on your G+ profile
How Does That Affect the Rankings?
There's no affect on rankings so far but your claimed content does get better rankings in personalized results at least. That means, if you claim your articles AND keep growing your G+ connections, you'll see more search click-through even if your pages do not do well in general search.
How Long Does it Take for Authorship to Appear (If Google Decides to Pull it up)?
It takes about 3 weeks (on average) for Authorship markup to show up in SERPs after first verified
Can I Verify My Product Page?
You may try and it may even work (if your domain is trusted enough) but Google says you can only verify content-rich pages where you are the only and actual author
I haven't heard of any penalties so far (other than that your author rich snippet will ultimately be removed) but those penalties may come if too many people abuse the authorship markup like this
Everything will be ok in the end
If it's not ok, it's not the end