Google Authorship Markup – A Short Case Study

Updated on 09-Jan-2012

Have you implemented rel=author on your site only to find that your author image is not appearing in the search engine results pages?

Introducing Penny – One Of My WordPress Coaching Students

I am a WordPress coach and Penny is one of my students. Penny is learning how to run her own WordPress recipe site, and how to SEO it and monetise it. She started the site in the late summer of 2011 and because she applies most of what she learns from me, her traffic grows each month consistently. She’s a great student!

How Penny Implemented Rel=Author Authorship Markup

Penny recently followed the instructions in this rel=author step be step post, to implement authorship markup on her site. After a few weeks, her image started to show up in the search engine results pages.

We are experimenting with recipe markup on – because last year Google added support for recipes to rich snippets. Penny will eventually organise her site to have recipe markup on posts that are recipes, and author markup on posts that aren’t. We’re still experimenting with that.

Rel=Author In Action On a New Site

Right now however, the authorship markup onthe site is showing well in the search engines. Penny writes frequently on her site where she currently has about 160 posts. The site is about 6 months old. Notably Penny is only in 2 circles on Google+, but she tweets each of her posts diligently. She has made over 3000 tweets and has a Klout score of 40. It would seem that in the right niche, having a reasonable number of posts is and a decent Klout score is enough to get your face in the SERPs.

Google SERPs Screenshot

The following is a screenshot of a site: command in Google for Penny’s recipe site – Penny’s Recipes


This article was updated on January 9, 2012

About Elizabeth

Elizabeth is an experienced web developer and WordPress SEO Coach. Connect with her on Google+ and Twitter


  1. Thank you Elizabeth for your help with Google+
    Just followed your guidelines for having your thumbnail show up on Google results.
    Waiting and hoping for the best.

    Also, trying to get our video testimonials to show up as thumbnails for search terms social networking software.
    Any advice?


    • Hi Sandy

      Yes – I haven’t looked into video results as yet, but there seem to be two ways to get it to work. One is to use a video markup format and the other is to use a video sitemap.

      Of the two, the easiest would be the latter. Three are some WordPress plugins that say they do video sitemaps. I have not tried them so can’t vouch for them at all.

      There’s a paid one here :
      I notice that the developer wants a yearly fee – not a one-off price. As a developer myself I think this is encouraging as when you buy software for a one-off price you cannot always rely on it being maintained. But I also notice the copyright sign on the bottom of the page is at 2010 and no blog on the site to keep you up to date with current status. I tend to think that if you are a developer you’d know how to make your footer copyright update automatically each year and help make your site look current. You could always contact him using his contact link and ask if the plugin is still being maintained.

      The are also free ones at the WordPress plugin repository.

  2. Thanks for the informative post. My photo is still not showing up in Google. Guess I’ll need more people to join my Circle (or I join there’s; not sure which will help – maybe both).

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