The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Google author feature puts your photo on Google search results

Detail from our new SimplePress theme

Detail from our new SimplePress theme

We changed our old WordPress theme recently. We wanted a new look and a responsive theme that could adapt to every size of screen from a desktop huge monitor to a tiny mobile. I love the new theme SimplePress – it has a lot of fantastic features that mean I can sometimes help Danny with the task of maintaining the techie side of the blog.

Changing the theme of an old WordPress blog can be fraught with difficulties. There are a few idiosyncratic features that we wanted to maintain from the old blog – and these need coding skills to implement. Gradually we are working through the list of changes together. Take our recent problems with Google Authorship, for example – the feature that enables your face to appear beside your posts on Google’s search results. Click here to see how a search result to The Cottage Smallholder site will eventually appear.

Why do I want my face goggling out all over the Internet? It is suggested that people searching the Internet are more likely to click on a listing with a face beside it – even my mugshot. We are naturally attracted to a face rather than just plain text. More clicks mean more readers. More readers mean better rankings.

Danny discovered this authorship feature.
“I’d really like you to open a Google+ account, Fobellita. Then you can set this up for the blog”

I set up my Google+ account and was surprised to find so many fascinating feeds! BTW you can link your Google+ Facebook Twitter and other social media accounts so that each up date when you post on just one – you can also easily add exclude parameters too – check this out here.

The next step was to implement Google authorship. I quickly found that a lot of people out on the Internet are having problems with getting this to work. So initially I tried a WordPress plugin. It didn’t work for me. Eventually after two all night sessions, the purchase of two more plugins and a lot of research I could just get Google authorship to stand up on tiny legs that quickly collapsed with error messages. So near and yet so frustratingly far.

I fell into a deep sleep, warmed by two Min Pin bodies and a few hours later woke to find Danny was standing in the doorway.
“I’ve discovered your problem. When we set up the old site your name was fn. Now to verify Google Authorship we need to call you Fiona Nevile as the name has to match your Google+ account profile name. As we identify you as fn on the CSH site this has mucked up everything. But don’t worry, while you were asleep I’ve almost fixed it. You may have some pointers that you found doing your research that will get us to the final step?”
And I did! Thank goodness that I live with a one time computer programmer.

So we sat down together and pooled resources. Those all night sessions were actually worth it as I had found the hands on Yoast rel=author rel=me guide that so many people recommend. I tottered back to bed with a large mug of tea. Within minutes Danny had cracked that final step in the journey and my Google authorship was verified. Yoast filled in all the gaps and solved the final clue in the chain.

“But why didn’t you leave this to Danny to fix.” I hear you say.
Even though I didn’t find the complete answer, I loved the treasure hunt. The thrill of the chase. Flopping into the human dog basket for a few hours with the Min Pins and then grabbing the laptop again to continue.

After so long I experienced that old Wardour Street buzz and excitement of computer animation days. When D and I eventually pooled our resources and found the answer I was thrilled.

Clearly a bit of brain stimulation is exactly what I need to thrive. Now I feel fit for anything!

Cottage Smallholder’s recommended links for easily establishing Google authorship for writers on a WordPress blog:
WordPress Authorsure plugin – this is free!
Yoast hands on Google Authorship implementation – this is also free but requires a bit of techie experience.

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  1. This is super great. Thanks for the tip and good explanation.

  2. Magic Cochin

    Well done! Yes brain stimulation is a good mood booster. I think that’s why I need to keep pushing myself to get to grips with new things… email newsletters /mailing campaigns is my latest buzz!

    Hope to see you 2 soon

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