Why and How to Set Up a Gravatar Account

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One absolute for increasing authority and improving search engine ranking is obtaining mentions on relevant sites about your site, brand, product, service or people. Public relations professionals pitch these conversations every single day. They recognize that getting their clients some attention online drives that brand recognition. With algorithm changes, it’s also a primary strategy to improve your keyword rankings on search engines.

At times, we don’t have the opportunity to interview or write about products but the pitch is so good that we invite the PR professional to have their client write a guest post. The article is typically the easiest part of this engagement, companies are more than willing to provide an article. We do set some requirements for them:

  • Try to keep the content between 500 and 1,000 words.
  • Define the problem that marketers have and try to provide some statistics with resources that support the premise.
  • Provide best practices around solving the problem.
  • If you have a technology solution, provide details on how it helps.
  • Include screenshots, diagrams, charts or – especially – a video of the solution.
  • We don’t require a deadline, but keep us informed of progress.
  • Register the author with Gravatar and provide us the author’s email address they used to register.
  • The author will be added to our newsletter and may be contacted directly for follow up. If the post is popular, we may even do a podcast about the topic.

Registering the author with Gravatar is essential so that they can control the image that’s displayed on their author profile. Without it, we would constantly be asked to update author photos and we don’t want to manage that. Gravatar is a simple service and in the author’s best interest to use so that they can have a recognizable image throughout the web – not just on our site.

What is a Gravatar?

From the Gravatar website:

An “avatar” is an image that represents you online—a little picture that appears next to your name when you interact with websites. A Gravatar is a Globally Recognized Avatar. You upload it and create your profile just once, and then when you participate in any Gravatar-enabled site, your Gravatar image will automatically follow you there. Gravatar is a free service for site owners, developers, and users. It is automatically included in every WordPress.com account and is run and supported by Automattic.


Why Do We Use Gravatar?

People often change their profile photos on their social media sites. They may change hair styles, or even have new, professional photos taken. If you’ve written an article for a publication, how do they update your photo to the latest and greatest? The answer is Gravatar.

In WordPress, the author photo is acquired through an encrypted string of the author email. The author’s email address is never publicly displayed. And the Gravatar account will allow you to manage multiple email addresses in the account, with multiple images.


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    I am not using Gravatar but instead I use MyAvatar which is a plugin for WordPress.

    This allows the same thing to happen but it’s just that the avatar shown will be identical with the one in MyBlogLog.

    This eases a lot of things because most of the readers will not take the extra step to upload an avatar just for bloghopping. 🙂

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    I’ve actually created a Gravatar class if you click the link in my name. Loosely coupled and works like a dream – it also has a cache with an expiration date for the avatar – to save on loading times. It can merely load the avatar in locally.

    Adam @ TalkPHP.com

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