Google Provides FAQ About Authorship, From Blocking To No Mascots

google-authorship-plusTrying to get your head around Google authorship? The Google Webmaster Central blog has posted a new FAQ designed to provide some answers.

What Qualifies For Authorship?

What pages can have authorship applied to them? Criteria include the page actually being mostly authored by the designated author, that it carries a byline and that it’s a single article, not a compilation page of articles by the author.

but i'm a great authorNo Mascots Allowed!

Think it would be funny if the Geico gecko appeared as an author in Google search results? Google doesn’t. Google “prefers to feature a human,” it says.

Pick One Google+ Profile

Think it would be cool to have multiple Google+ profiles in different languages, to link to if you write in different languages? Don’t, says Google.

One Author Only, For Now

Sorry, Google authorship still doesn’t support pieces with more than one author. Google says it’s still experimenting on how to deal with the situation of two or more.

Yes, You Can Block Authorship

Don’t want authorship to appear, which can sometimes happen even if you don’t set it up? Google reminds that you can block your profile from being used for authorship according to the instructions here.

Authorship Isn’t Publishership

Similar to the rel=author tag that Google provides, there’s a rel=publisher tag designed to help publishers identify a publication with content. But this is completely separate from authorship, Google reminds. And it doesn’t really do much, at the moment.

Authorship Isn’t For Product Listings

Sorry, even if one particular employee has worked really hard to customize a product page for retail items or perhaps for property listings, authorship is “discouraged” in these cases.

More Information

For more, see Google’s blog post today, its guide to authorship, our own The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup and some of our other articles, below:


Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Authorship | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Helge Sverre

    Some good information here, Now if only i could find a good WordPress plugin for handling all this Google Authorship tags and stuff in posts, pages and the home page…

  • virginia

    Good info Danny, the whole authorship thing has been very complicated with unclear instructions from google for close to a year now

  • Nick Stamoulis

    I just wish I knew what kind of time frame I was working in! I helped a client add the rel=”author” tag to their blog and within two weeks the rich snippets were showing up. I’ve had the tag on my own blog for months and while the structured data testing tool tells me it’s working I have yet to see the rich snippets.

  • virginia

    There are @helgesverre look for the WordPress plugins for google authorship. You still need to add some code directly to the sites though I believe. Look for authorship signatures. There are mixed reports on this one but it works ok

  • Andy McIlwain

    Take a look at the WordPress SEO plugin from Yoast. Details/instructions:

  • Helge Sverre

    I found something called hAuthor, which did what i needed it to do, thanks for the link though.

  • Phil Gregory

    All you need is WordPress SEO by Yoast.

  • DJ Shirley

    Agreed, in my experience Yoast has proven to be one of the simplest tools to use when associating Google Authorship with your account.

  • Jim Thome

    How is Google’s Authorship different from Disqus?

  • Rob Jenkins

    it almost feels like Google is not taking publishers seriously, switching a page from a company publisher to an author has had positive results in SERPS

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