Since the recent upgrade of DevCentral, you may have noticed a change in the way Google displays some blog posts:

joe-author-snippet

This change is caused by the implementation of Author Rich Snippets. In essence, this allows a website to tell Google more information about the content through metadata. In doing so, Google can make smarter decisions about the way it displays content in search results. A great example that has been happening for years in video:

it-style-devcentral-f5

So what are the benefits of Author Rich Snippets?

Besides the obvious visual effect, there are many:

  1. Higher click-through rates as your result stands out.
  2. Allows readers to get to know you and trust your contributions to the internet
  3. Higher SEO ranking over time as Google recognizes your contributions on the internet and trusts your information (see Google Author Rank for more information)

How can you enable it for your blog?

Author Rich Snippets are not enabled by default, you must tell Google independently of DevCentral that you are a contributor to the website. There are two steps to do this.

The first is to mark yourself as a contributor to DevCentral:

  1. Edit the Contributor To section in Google+
  2. In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL (https://devcentral.f5.com)
  3. If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link
  4. Click Save

The second is to specify a link in your DevCentral profile to your Google+ profile

  1. Login to DevCentral
  2. Click on My Account  -> View Profile (upper left hand corner)
  3. Click on Edit Profile
  4. Specify your Google+ link (you can get this link by visiting http://profiles.google.com/me). It should redirect to a page in the format of https://plus.google.com/118132083338767982949 (note: remember to take /posts off the end). Copy this link and put it the section called Google+.
  5. Click Save

How long will it take to appear in Google?

Normally it will take 1-2 weeks for your profile information to begin appearing in search results.