Users of Google News will soon be able to find their favorite journalists on Google+ more easily. That’s because Google will soon begin to integrate the Google+ profiles of journalists with their bylines on Google News.
Journalists who have a lead story will get their Google+ profile picture prominently featured to the right of their story, along with a count of how many people circle that person. Most importantly, Google+ users will be able to add that person to their circle directly from Google News.
“Knowing who wrote an article can help readers understand the article’s context and quality, see more articles by that person, and even interact directly with them,” wrote Software Engineer Eric Weigle in a Wednesday blog post announcing the new feature.
This is an opt-in program, and journalists can choose one of two ways of linking their bylines to their Google+.
The first way is by ensuring a journalist’s e-mail address appears on their article pages. All they have to do is add that same e-mail address to their Google+ profile.
The second way is to link you content to your Google+ profile. This can be done by adding a Google+ icon to article pages, or by adding some manual HTML code.
The next step is a simple content verification process, in which you point Google to a page that has these e-mail/Google+ links on them.
The final step is to fill out a form so Google can inform you of any implementation issues.
This move by Google has the potential to drive journalists who had forgotten about Google+ back to the nascent social network. It could also help bring new users to Google+ — ones who would like to interact with those journalists in a simple way.