Google Author Image Showing In Search Results For Other Web Sites

Oct 23, 2012 • 8:59 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

It is not uncommon these days to (1) see author pictures in Google search results and (2) to see them when the author and publisher did not set anything up specific for them to show up. By that I mean, they didn't do the necessary work to set up authorship on the site.

Two examples recently came up.

(1) A WebmasterWorld thread by sunnyujjawal said Pinterest URLs are showing author pictures via Google+ without the Google Authorship markup on the page.

For example, search for [pinterest arpingajjar123 and you will see this:

Google Authorship Pinterest

Now, if you look at the rich snippet data you will see it shows a Twitter account is linked. But not the Google+ account. So how does Google know? The Google+ about page for this user has this Twitter account linked in the profile and also has the Pinterest account linked. So that association is there for Google to make the assumption that the author is the same.

(2) Bas Van Den Beld on State of the Search found a story on his site showing an author profile Kristjan Mar Hauksson where his Google+ profile doesn't have any details about this user's contributions to Google+. What it does have is linkage data to his blog and Twitter account, @optimizeyourweb and because the title of the blog post has the Twitter account and author name, Google is confident to link and use the image of the Google+ profile fo that user.

Here is a picture:

click for full size

So there you have it, just more proof, Google is going above and beyond to not require authors to do anything to link up content to their Google profile.

Of course with this, there may be room to trick Google into thinking the author is someone else. And I've seen cases of that.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Google's Top Down Navigation Has Bugs


Sunny Ujjawal

10/23/2012 01:17 pm

Not only magic in G+ ...some problems are also there like I update my Name and author photo..sometime author photo get updated after few hours and some time not but main problem is with Name : which I change 7 days before is still pending...don't know when google will improve this point

Lyndon NA

10/23/2012 01:20 pm

Google want to automate it as much as possible. If you signed up and used the Email method - G can pick that up from pages where your email is available. Expanding outwards to other "associable" methods is hardly a surprise - the fact it's taken this long to see it on the other hand is a shock (not like you don't naturally interlink profiles). What does concern me is that G have already been shown some serious flaws to this approach. It is possible for G to get it wrong - they may associate the wrong profile, or someone may usurp someone elses content. Rushing through with this may easily permit some to present themselves/their content as someone else (and possibly damaging their reputation).

Lyndon NA

10/23/2012 01:22 pm

I think the point here is that G really don't want you changing your name. Though they backdown on there (to me, stupid) real-name policy, authorship still seems to be a little more stringent. As you are meant to be using either your real name, or a brand/established name, why would you change it ... and why would G have things in place to rapidly update it? Note: I'm not saying that you shouldn't change your name, nor that it's not odd that G can update 1 part faster than another ... merely that I wouldn't expect to see G make any rapid movement in that area.

Sunny ujjawal

10/23/2012 01:33 pm

I am using my real name

Andy Francos

10/24/2012 02:04 pm

I noticed this back in June for some football stories: In this case, Google was returning an incorrect Google+ account that matched the author's name.

Travis Van Slooten

10/24/2012 02:44 pm

This is more proof that it's imperative for people to have complete profiles across all these social media channels. I just read a report I picked up on Google's Knowledge Graph. The author (Daniel Tan), believes that having complete profiles on these social channels - and your activity on these channels - will greatly influence your visibility in the knowledge graph and ultimately in the search results. Travis Van Slooten


10/24/2012 07:41 pm

This is why I never signed up for this G+ crap. Waste of time really.

Sunny Ujjawal

10/25/2012 11:56 am

Crap only for those who don't know what SEO is?


10/25/2012 05:43 pm

I've noticed that also but seems working only for Pinterest and on the list of accounts linked on my profile those service are showing photo when searching for my name. If on Pinterest the author is in fact not set to my G+profile, I found in fact is showing author

Satinder Singh

10/29/2012 11:13 am

Is it possible that Google will show your profile in search searches on a site that you have never posted. But I have faced this; my profile is at author place with a site in search results while I'm not an author of that. The one thing that I did that I gave a URL of that site in my Google plus about page. interesting how Google calculates authorship :)

Markus Menno Jong

10/30/2012 05:46 pm



11/09/2012 03:38 am

finally my photo is also coming in google search "damodar bashyal"

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