We're sure you have already noticed photos next to search results at Google. This feature is called Google Authorship and Google uses it to connect the Google search to Google+, with the goal to make the search results more trustworthy. It helps to identify trustworthy websites and also increases the quality of website content. Probably nobody is interested in publishing crap and then adding his own face next to the search results.
Google Authorship is also good to earn reputation. This reputation is called “Author Rank” and a high “Author Rank” might help to increase your Google ranking. But that is another story and in this quick tutorial we will show you first how to enable Google Authorship.
Enabling Google Authorship
First of all, usually you will need a plugin which adds support for Google Authorship, like for example: Google Author Link. Most SEO plugins, for example WordPress SEO by Yoast, also support Google Authorship out-of-the-box. When you have installed a plugin of your choice, you will just have to add the required data, like the URL of your Google+ profile.
To finally enable Google Authorship you will now only have to link your website from your Google+ profile to confirm that you are willing to connect your website with Google+ and display your photo next to the search results.
If you have completed these simple steps, Google will display your photo next to the search results. If you wish, you can test if enabling Google Authorship did work by using the “Google Structured Data Testing Tool”. Just enter your URL there and Google will show you how your search result will look like.
Please note: It may take a while until Google will show your photo in the search results. It's always up to Google if they display it or not. But if your photo is properly displayed in the “Google Structured Data Testing Tool”, the implementation did work for sure.
You should also always make sure that your photo at Google+ meets the requirements. Your face should be properly visable and Google won't show your photo in the search results if you have uploaded a logo or an icon as photo. Now try it for yourself, it may help to increase the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of your website in the Google search results.