The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup

At SMX Advanced 2011, Matt Cutts announced the Google initiative to begin attributing content to original authors. Since that time, the process in which authors and websites attribute content to authors has evolved. A lot. Many times over, in fact.

If you’ve heard about Google authorship markup, but have been confused as to how to get started with it, you are definitely not alone. I’ve been writing about this topic since August of 2011, and have worked to get this process up and running on three separate blog sites (Search Engine Land, Internet Marketing Ninjas, and The SEO Ace– all coincidently, sites that publish my content!).

I’ve learned a few things along the way, right and wrong, but I’ve gotten it properly set up and now my goofy mug usually graces the Google search engine results pages (SERPs) when you search for content I’ve written.

Rick DeJarnette shown in Google authorship enhanced SERP

More importantly, the content I’ve written on SEO has established me as a known author on that topic. And while I don’t have specific insight into how Google’s algorithm works, it’s a safe assumption that when the Google crawler discovers a new piece of SEO content written by me, my existing author rank has some influence on the page rank of that new content (assuming it’s up to snuff). So how do you get in on this? I’m happy to show you.

Normally I’d start off with some contextual information on why it’s important for all content creators to establish their own author branding in Google, but this post will be long enough as it is (this process isn’t exactly tic-tac-toe, my friends, so please stay with me).

For good introductory information on Google authorship markup, check out a couple of my previous posts, How To Create Your Digital Footprint With Links and Configure Authorship Markup for Google.

The Authorship Process

What you need to know is that Google needs to complete a circuit of verified trust between it and an author’s published content. For you to participate in this program, you need to have two things:

  1. A verified digital identify owned by Google that links to your published content (a Google+ profile)
  2. Your published content needs to reference you as the author and link back to the verified digital identity

As of this writing, Google supports three methods of verifying that trust. The methods approved by Google include a 3-link, a 2-link, and an email verification method. Let’s define these methods:

  1. 3-Link Method. The 3-link method is used with sites that host content pages that link to an author biography page on the same domain. All of the content pages link to the author biography page, the author biography page links to the author’s Google+ profile, and the Google+ profile links to the author biography page, as shown below:3-link method for configuring Google Authorship Markup
  2. 2-Link Method.The 2-link method is for content pages that do not link to an author biography page. Instead, they typically contain a mini author biography snippet at the bottom of each post. These posts link directly to the author’s Google+ profile, and the Google+ profile links to the home page of the publishing site, as illustrated below:2-link method for configuring Google Authorship Markup
  3. Email Verification Method. The email verification method can be used when the author does not have control over author biography content anywhere in the content page (but its use is not limited to that scenario). In that case, an author byline links to an email address using the same domain name as the content page, and that email address is registered and verified in the author’s Google+ profile, as shown below:Email verification method for configuring Google Authorship Markup

The above set of descriptions were all high-level overviews; there are many details that must also be addressed. But as you can see, all three methods share the same requirement: a verified digital identify in the form of an author Google+ profile. Let’s first cover how to set up the author’s Google+ profile for authorship markup.

Setup Your Google+ Profile For Authorship Markup

If you have any existing Google account (Gmail, Google docs, Google Webmaster Tools, etc.), then you already have at least a stub Google+ profile. Perhaps yours is already somewhat filled out. But Google authorship markup mandates specific data requirements in that profile, so let’s get it set up right.

  1. Browse to https://profiles.google.com/.
  2. Sign in to your Google account (or create one if necessary).
  3. When prompted, upload a clear facial, head shot photo to the profile. No abstract art, no cartoons, etc.Set a head shot photo of your face for your Google+ profile
  4. Click Continue until Finish appears, and then click Finish.
  5. Click Continue to Google+, click Profile, and then click Edit Profile.
  6. Click +1’s, select the Show this tab on your profile checkbox, and then click Save.Enable the +1s tab to show in your Google+ profile
  7. Click About, click Other profiles, click Add custom link, and then add labels and URLs for each of your other social media account profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, etc. Click Save when done.Set up links to other online profiles in your Google+ profile
  8. You may optionally complete the sections about your occupation, employment, and other pertinent information pertaining to your areas of expertise. While these ancillary elements are not required for authorship markup, they can often contribute an added degree of credibility to an author, which builds up your reputation as an authoritative source on the topics you cover.Add other information, such as occupation, employment and more to your Google+ profile
  9. When you are done completing your Google+ profile, be sure to click Done editing to save all of your changes. Save your work when you are done setting up your Google+ profile
  10. Copy the 21-digit ID number used in the URL of your Google+ profile. You’ll likely need it momentarily.

Note:You’re not completely done yet with your Google+ profile edits, so leave that browser tab open.

Setup Your Published Content Pages For Authorship Markup

Which steps you’ll take to set up your content pages and finish configuring your Google+ profile depends on whether you’ll be registering content pages using the 3-link method, the 2-link method, or the email verification method (which depends upon how your Web content was published).

You may end up using several methods if you publish content on multiple sites (but only one method is needed per site). Pick and choose the sections below that apply to your situation.

3-link Method On Sites Using Author Biography Pages

Assumptions for this method:

  • The author biography page is located in the same website domain as the content pages that link to it.
  • Each content page link to the author biography page includes the author’s name in the anchor text.
  • You have access permission rights to make source code edits on these pages.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the author biography page, add a link for the author’s Google+ profile using the anchor text “Google+” (omit the quotes).
  2. In the anchor tag code for the Google+ link, add the anchor tag attribute rel=”me”. The following is an example of such tag source code (be sure to use your own 21-digit, Google+ profile ID number):
    <a href="https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111" rel="me">Google+</a>
  3. In each content page, edit the existing link to the author biography page by adding the anchor tag attribute rel=”author”. The following is an example of such tag source code (be sure to use the URL to your author biography page in the href attribute as well as your name as the anchor text):
    <a href="{AuthorBiographyPageURL}" rel="author">Author Name</a>
  4. In your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, and then click Other Profiles.Configure the author biography page in the Other profiles dialog box
  5. Click Add custom link, and then add a label and the full URL for the author biography page.
  6. Click Save when done, and then click Done editing.Save your edits to your Google+ profile

If you have no more content profiles to add, skip to the section titled Verify the Google authorship markup code is valid.

2-link Method On Sites Using Author Bio Snippets At End Of Each Post

Assumptions for this method:

  • Each content page contains a boilerplate author biography sentence or paragraph snippet that contains a link to the author’s Google+ profile.
  • You have access permission rights to edit the author biography text snippet.

Follow these steps:

  1. In the author biography snippet, add a link to the author’s Google+ profile using the anchor text “Google+” (omit the quotes). The following is an example of such tag source code (be sure to use your own 21-digit, Google+ profile ID number):
    <a href="https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111?rel=author">Google+</a>
  2. In your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, and then click Contributor to. Set up the Contributor to dialog box in your Google+ profile
  3. Click Add custom link, and then add a label and the full URL for the publishing site’s home page.
  4. Click Save when done, and then click Done editing.Click Done editing when you are finished editing your Google+ profile

If you have no more content profiles to add, skip to the section titled Verify the Google authorship markup code is valid.

Email Verification Method

This method is very helpful to authors on sites in which they can’t edit any anchor tag code, but its use is not limited to that scenario. As long as its criteria are met, email verification can be the primary method used for establishing authorship verification.

Assumptions for this section:

  • The content page must include an author byline that starts with the word “By ” followed by the exact same author name used in the Google+ profile.
  • The author name is linked to an email address that uses the same domain name as the site hosting the content.

Follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the Google+ page Link your Google+ profile to the content you create (you must sign in to your Google account to complete this procedure).
  2. Type or paste the email address used in your content’s byline link into the Step 4 text box, and then click Signup for Authorship. Register your email address for use with Google Authorship Markup
  3. Look for a verification email from Google sent to that email address. Once received, click the link within the email to verify you own the email address. Google will then automatically add the verified email address to the Work section of your Google+ profile. It will also add a link to the domain name used in the email address in the profile’s Contributor to section.Verified email address used in Google+ profile

If you have no more content profiles to add, skip to the section titled Verify the Google authorship markup code is valid. However, if your content is published on a WordPress blog, read on.

WordPress Sites Require Additional Configuration Work

By default, WordPress strips out all of the “rel=xxx” anchor tag attributes used in Google authorship markup. As of this writing, there are a number of WordPress plugin solutions that override this limitation. However, they typically remove more than just the rel=xxx anchor tag attribute limitations in links. If your site hosts a number of authors whom are not fully trusted, this solution may expose the site to a security risk.

In its Authorship support article, Google itself links to a post that specifically advocates the use of the WordPress plugin Allow REL= and HTML in Author Bios. However, that non-configurable plugin solution, which opens up WordPress to allow any HTML in author biography pages, states unequivocally:

 ”WARNING: CAN BE USED FOR EVIL! Make sure you trust authors!”

I don’t know about you, but as a publisher, I wouldn’t be comfortable with that solution.

It’s clear why Google has no safer solution to offer for WordPress. As of this writing, WordPress itself has no specific, core solution to enabling the anchor tag attributes required for authorship markup.

On top of that, each theme in WordPress has its own potentially unique PHP source code. And as a secure, code-based solution for one theme is likely incompatible with other themes, Google’s tacit endorsement of the plugin is the lowest common denominator solution available to mass audiences, even if it does expose a security risk.

In this section, instead of endorsing Google’s de facto endorsed plugin to enable the “rel=author” anchor tag attribute code needed for authorship markup, I will recommend using the dynamic URL variable to achieve the same rel=author link connection to Google+. That means I’m going to focus on using the 2-link method, which means applying an author biography snippet at the footer of each content page.

You may need to determine how to enable author biography snippets in your theme. Some themes use the content written in the user profile Biographical info text box, whereas others allow author information to be added as posts are written in the WordPress editor. Check your theme’s documentation for its specific implementation.

WordPress & The 3-link Method: Sites With Author Biography Pages

Unfortunately, there is no clear, secure and universally compatible WordPress solution for both single author and multi-author blogs that employ author biography pages. A solution would need to modify the link in each content page to the site’s author biography page to include the “rel=author” anchor tag attribute and, in addition, create a link to the author’s Google+ profile in the author biography page using the “rel=me” anchor tag attribute.

Webmasters for single-author blogs can follow the advice and insert the custom code snippets found in Joost de Valk’s blog post, rel=”author” and rel=”me” in WP and other platforms. That works well for single-author blogs.

Alternatively, for those who don’t want to fiddle with or have the resources to do custom PHP coding and are not interested in applying potentially risky, generic plugins that may open up potentially large security holes in your sites, you might consider either consulting with a clever PHP/WordPress theme developer for a custom code solution, or perhaps changing to a WordPress theme that already has published, working custom code solutions available.

For most WordPress users, I recommend using a WordPress theme that enables author biography snippets at the end of each post and using the 2-link method for authorship markup. That is the best secure, universally-applicable solution available in WordPress.

WordPress & The 2-link Method: Author Biography Snippets On Each Post

A number of WordPress themes enable authors to create custom biography snippets in their WordPress User Profiles, which are shown at the bottom of each post. For themes that don’t support this feature, site administrators can add this specific feature with the WordPress plugin WP Biographia.

By including a link to the author’s Google+ profile using rel=author code in the biographical snippet in each post, no author biography page is needed, eliminating the need for rel=me code. Follow these steps to make this 2-link method work:

  1. Log in to the WordPress site.
  2. From the Dashboard, click Users, and then click Your Profile.
  3. Scroll down to the About Yourself section. the Biographical Info box, add a few brief lines of text to serve as your online biography snippet, then add a link to your Google+ profile using the anchor text “Google+” (omit the quotes). The following is an example of the tag source code (be sure to use your own 21-digit ID number):
    <a href="https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111?rel=author">Google+</a>

Note: The above procedure assumes the location of the author biography snippet is the User Profile. If your theme allows for author information within the built-in post editor, add the link from Step 3 there.

Verify The Google Authorship Markup Code Is Valid

Once you have the Google+ profile and your content pages configured using either the 3-link or the 2-link method described above, you need to validate your work. Google makes this easy to do.

  1. Browse to the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool page.
  2. Type (or paste) the URL of a content page in the text box and then click Preview.
  3. Review the results for errors.
  4. If using the 3-link method with an author biography page, type (or paste) the URL of the author biography page in the text box and then click Preview.
  5. Review the results for errors.

In both cases, you should see lines displaying the following data:

Extracted Author/Publisher for this page

author

linked author profile = {URL to your author biography page, if used, or a link to your Google+ profile} google profile = {URL to your Google+ profile} author name = {Author Name} Verified: Authorship markup is verified for this page.

If any of the above author results contain red text, that indicates something is not configured correctly. Carefully review the steps above to debug the work. Note that the email method is automatically verified when you use the Link your Google+ profile to the content you create tool to register and then verify your email address.

Note: Google also recognizes the attribute rel=”publisher” to identify the site that originally published the content it contains. However, the rel=publisher attribute only needs to be used on the site’s home page.

According to Thoughts from Geeks blog, if it’s used on content pages in addition to rel=author code, rel=publisher takes precedence over rel=author. In that case, any authorship rich snippets will not be displayed in the Google SERPs.

In Summary

That’s Google Authorship Markup in a nutshell. One huge, complicated nutshell, filled with caveats. But given Google’s active pursuit of verifiable, trusted expert content to improve the quality of their search results, author rank will only increase in importance as this technology becomes more widely adopted. And as that happens, well-configured author pages containing consistent, valuable content will likely see even greater lift over time, and any existing author rank may well influence the ranking of new content on the same topic produced by that established author.

Ultimately, Google’s desire to identify high-quality sources of original, expert content is a good thing for content authors. You won’t be lost without it, but you may benefit from taking the time to work out the configuration details of implementing Google Authorship Markup on your website or blog.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Features | Features: General | Google: Authorship | Google: Rich Snippets | Google: SEO | How To: SEO

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About The Author: is an in-house SEO at MSN.com, and was previously part of Microsoft’s Live Search and Bing Webmaster Center teams, serving as the primary contributor to the Bing Webmaster Center blog and then later as an in-house SEO for the Bing content properties. He also randomly adds to his own blog, The SEO Ace.

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  • http://twitter.com/SEOdub Chris Rodgers

    Thanks for the update Rick, Iv’e been using this method ever since reading How To Create Your Digital Footprint With Links, and noticed that you now recommend that the G+ profile lnks to the blog homepage as opposed to each individual article, why is this?  Do I need to change what has already been done?

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    Chris, as long as the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool (http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets) says you’re verified, you’re golden. Any of the three methods work, so don’t fix what’s not broken. But do check, just to be sure you are set up right. The G+ link to the publishing site home page is what Google recommends for the 2-link method, so I offered that advice here (it’s less onerous than linking to each post published on the same site). Thanks for writing!

  • http://twitter.com/dynamicnet Dynamic Net, Inc.

    Great job, Rick.  A short while back I wrote http://www.dynamicnet.net/2012/03/rel_equals_author_helps_seo/ to go over the importance of authorship; and how WordPress users can use a free plugin.

    Your article definitely covers the topic from start to finish.  Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    Peter, thanks for writing! Nice post yourself on the topic. And thanks for alerting me to the WP plugin AuthorSure. I am unfamiliar with it, but as long as it doesn’t compromise the security of the site, it could be an interesting alternative solution to getting GAM up and running on a WP site.

  • Lori Eldridge

    I’ve had Rel=”author” set up for about a month now. I hope this will prevent scrapers from getting benefit from my articles.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O7TXNSOLJZGZIEMPM53OZBE3PU Kaj K

    Rick, you make the Google+ profile the page about the Author, however the sample for matt Cutts in the Rich Snippet verification tool seems to point to a posts page on Google+ (http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mattcutts.com%2Fblog%2Fthoughts-on-google-instant%2F). What is “correct?” If both, what other variants/alternatives are available?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O7TXNSOLJZGZIEMPM53OZBE3PU Kaj K

    Rick, another question: Do you know what happened to the Webmaster Tools Author stats? (http://searchengineland.com/google-webmaster-tools-author-stats-104781). They appeared, disappeared (http://www.seroundtable.com/google-author-stats-removed-15021.html) because of a supposed bug and are missing ever since.

  • Galwin Fabian

    Thank you for this awesomely detailed guide! Finally setup my authorship!

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    Kaj, I’m not sure I follow your question. The Google+ profile as described in the post is indeed about the author. However, the Rich Snippets Testing Tool is used for testing the authorship markup on the content pages (and an author bio page, if one is used).

    There can also be a Google+ page for business, in which case the code linking to that profile should appear on the home page of the site using the attribute rel=”publisher”. That home page code markup can also be validated in the Testing Tool. I really didn’t delve into rel=publisher because the original focus was on the author and Google+ profiles for authors, but this is one more aspect of this program. (So much for “definitive”!)

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    That’s a question for Google, not for an outsider like me. Perhaps tweeting @mattcutts your question might be helpful — he’s at SMX this week! Thanks for writing!

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

     Lori, all of us authors hope for that benefit! Thanks for commenting!

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

     Galwin, I’m glad you found the post helpful! Thanks for writing!

  • http://www.w3resource.com/ w3resource

    Nice post Rick. One big question which keep us puzzled is, What if we have more than one person contributing to an article or webpage? For example, in our website (w3resource.com), in each page, several of our team members have contributed. Some wrote the text content, some created images, code is designed by somebody else, and we do not want to deprive anybody showing only one’s name as author. Anybody thinking in this line and has got some idea regarding this kind of a situation?

  • http://twitter.com/larsenpedersen Larsen Pedersen

    Thanks you a lot for the explanation – I did the Email Verification Method some time ago on a WordPress-installation on my testing domain. However when testing with Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool, it only extracts “Søren Larsen” from my full name “Søren Larsen Pedersen” on the blog – I don’t know how to fix this :/

  • threads yasir

    Your writers are
    enormously large. web design

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O7TXNSOLJZGZIEMPM53OZBE3PU Kaj K

    I’d think this is the same case as a multi author blog with a home page, where multiple articles (or excerpts) are listed (same for topic pages, etc.)

    In that case I’d use the three way method and create local author/bio pages for each contributor and link to it from the article. You could have the main author(s) at the top and a by line of contributions (photo, graphics, etc.) at the bottom.

    Off course I don’t know what Google might make of this at the end. How a search engine will sort out the multiple authors or if it shows any of them is your best guess. Realistically I’d name the people but only would link a lead author to its Google profile. But do experiment and let us know ;-)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O7TXNSOLJZGZIEMPM53OZBE3PU Kaj K

    I mean the fact that you say point the http://plus.google.com/12345654321 page, while the example (at the sideline of the webmaster tools) from Matt Cutts points to http://plus.google.com/12345654321/posts

    As you title your article “The definitive Guide …” I thought you know why to choose one over the other.

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

     

    Ah, you’re asking whether to link to the Google+ profile
    root or a subfolder. From my experience and from volumes of example sites posted on
    the web, it doesn’t matter — both work. But that said, I’d opt to point to the
    root. Google has published multiple docs on GAM in the past year, and there has
    been contradictory advice given, including on this issue. I figure you can’t go
    wrong with using the profile root, but if both work, it doesn’t matter (until
    it does).

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

     You definitely want to ensure your author name in your content is an exact match for your Google+ profile name. How is your name noted in Google+? Does the Rich Snippets Testing Tool state that your authorship markup is verified (green text) or is it not (red text)? If it’s red, you need to fix it.

    If you can’t change your name in either the email address account, the blog, or the Google+ profile to get a consistent match, try using another authorship markup method, such as the 2-link method described in the post. Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    First off, I don’t think the code designer role would be considered an author by Google. Author is used to designate the creator of content, which Google wants to identify with authorship markup (sorry, developers!)

    Next, I don’t know that Google has developed the authorship markup system to account for that situation. When I searched for references to that scenario, the primary Google docs simply don’t mention multiple authors for one piece of content. Furthermore, people who have tested this scenario on their own note that the first rel=author identified (out of many) is the one the Rich Snippets Testing Tool notes as verified. See http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/25140/how-to-implement-rel-author-on-a-page-with-multiple-authors for a discussion on this. I also found a Google forum discussion on this scenario at http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/HB7BU55gExU. The question there is not sufficiently answered.

    Lastly, which author photo from the multiple Google+ profiles would they show? I think Google is still working out the basic scenarios on this topic. You are ahead of them with this more advanced scanario. Keep watching Google’s document updates on authorship markup — they may be working a solution to this question.

    Thanks for writing!

  • Contatti MSN

    Is possible to get the Rich Snippets while connecting an article to a Google+ Page (not my profile page, but my brand page) ??

    Anyone has made this test? http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?url=http://www.contatti-msn.net/blog/2012/03/contatti-msn-net-su-google-plus/

    thx

  • http://twitter.com/Moustachology Mac

    The fact that you have to write a post of this length and complexity shows you just how ridiculous the Google Authorship ‘system’ is.

  • http://twitter.com/RavenArienne Arienne Holland

    Rick, thanks very much for the post. I’m speaking about the complications of Google Profiles at PubCon this year, and one scenario I have run into is this: what if you have two Google Profiles (i.e. G+ accounts)? What if one is personal and one is an Apps account… and you’re writing for the company blog? The company could demand you use the Apps account profile so that they stay in control of what you post on G+, and the company could want the authorship “points” in the SERPs for what you write on the company blog. Then, assume you leave the company, and they shut down your account. Have you lost your authorship credibility with Google? Or is there any way to tell Google that both G+ accounts are “you” in terms of authorship?

  • http://twitter.com/richcowley Richard Cowley

    Hi, I’ve been looking at the 2 examples below – Are these Google+ profiles validating in a different way entirely or are these variations on the email verification method? thx. 

    1. Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/03/26/magazines-ipad-3-resolution/

    Author posts ARE picked up in SERPs with the G+ link

    A/ Blog Post page:

    - Uses rel=”author me” to link to site’s author page
    - (uses rel=publisher to link to mashable google+ page)

    B/ Author bio page:

    - (uses publisher to link to mashable google page)
    - ‘Connect with’ buttons are the only link to author’s G+ proile, not rel=author.
    - Uses rel=author only for ‘name’ E.G. rel=’author’>Lauren Indvik

    2. Guardian.co.uk: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/15/apple-ipad-3-review

    Done differently yet author’s G+ also gets picked up in Google SERPs.

    A/ Post page:

    - Uses rel=”author” to link to site’s author page
    - Does not link to Google+

    B/ Author bio page:

    - Does not link to Google+

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  • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk/ Ian Smith

    Absolutely superb piece of work. I am in the process of trying to get my head around the various ramifications. Then I see this!
    Cheers Rick

  • http://lazycash1.com/ Anonymous

    my friend’s aunt made $17398 the previous week. she is making income on the internet and bought a $578000 house. All she did was get lucky and try the steps written on this website

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  • GilesJuliana

    my friend’s mother-in-law makes $85 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 6 months but last month her paycheck was $19177 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more her

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  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    So much for definitive! I knew the title was doomed as soon as I wrote it, as Google keeps changing the way things work with this technology. I just didn’t expect it to come this fast!

    Today Joost de Valk published on his site the revelation that you can now use the tag in the section of your content pages to establish the rel=author connection to Google+. Better yet, Joost is going to add this functionality to his excellent WordPress SEO plugin, which greatly simplifies the process of getting WordPress blogs to work with Google Authorship Markup. 

    For details, check out “Push rel=”author” through your head” at http://yoast.com/push-rel-author-head/. 

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    Thanks so much, Ian! I greatly appreciate it!

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    Perhaps, but a comprehensive approach to all of SEO itself is at least this complex (if you actually want to be successful). Frankly, if it were easy, anyone could do it! Thanks for sharing!

  • robthespy

    The captain of the G+ boat appears to have ADHD!

    I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to work at Google right now…with Plus being jammed into everything.

  • Rick Voib

    Hi Rick, 
    Thank you very much for this informative page.Please correct me if I’m wrong, When using the 3 way link method, with the author bio page on the domain, I only update the Other Profiles, not the Contributing to?Also, is it possible to use all the methods all at once, just to be safe?Thank you!Rick

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

     There is no limitation on the number of approaches you can use as far as I know. In fact, if you publish at multiple sites, you’ll likely use both Other Profiles and Contributor To. You only need one method per site for it to work, though. The Rich Snippets testing tool will verify if the coding is correct. However, it is still up to Google whether or not they will give you the enhanced author SERP, even if you are coded up correctly. Thanks for writing!

  • http://twitter.com/rickdejarnette Rick DeJarnette

    I am unaware of any way for Google to link two Google+ accounts up to the same person (if there is such a way, please reply here!). As such, if a company insists that its employee use a new, company-controlled G+ account for establishing authorship markup for work-related published content, I don’t know how the employee would be able to claim personal ownership of the work with the other G+ account. This is a great question that should be asked of Google.

  • http://www.stanleyoppenheimer.com searchengineman

    I am trying to wrap my head around rel=author & rel=me for Twitter Accounts.  Where exactly and how do I accurately tell Google this is me. My confusion is on the Twitter side. Clarification would be very helpful.

    Searchengineman

  • http://www.stanleyoppenheimer.com searchengineman

    Damn..I knew he’d answer that way…

    https://twitter.com/rickdejarnette/status/212995487656185856 
    @searchengineman Add Twitter profile to Other Profiles in G+. You won’t get enhanced SERP, but you’ll tell G+ those tweets are yours. 

    You know Google / Twitter should really play nice with Twitter in light of Apple cuttingGoogle Maps off.  What’s to say the same thing could happen to twitter in one fell swoop.

  • Arthur Brouwers

    Hi Rick,

    I have a burning question for some time. I have my own auctionwebsite (Art): kunstveiling.nl
    On this website I have huge quantity of descriptions of artists (biografies) I made in the past years.
    Now I want to be seen as “expert” on these matters. However my question is: My private profiles contain very limited content (FB, Twitter, G+ etc). My companypages however do have a lot of “ranking” e.g. over 1250 friends on FB, many posts etc.

    I have a Page in G+ for my company. What would you advice. Should I connect G+ for SERP’s to my companypage in G+ or to my personal profile? Is it even possible (in regards to visibility in SERP’s) to connect to a companypage or should the Author be a person in “flesh and blood”?

    Many thanks!! Arthur Brouwers from Amsterdam.

  • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk/ Ian Smith

    Hello Arthur,
    My suggestion would be to link your G+ personal profile (author) and your G+ company profile (publisher) to the main website.
    Google will then see you as the author of the content and as the ‘owner/publisher’ of the website. Credibility and reliability then is enhanced. 

  • Arthur Brouwers

    Hi Ian,

    Thank you for your advice. Should the Publisher tag be used in the header (So all pages) or only on home?

  • http://lifeupfront.com/ Jeff Waters

    Hi there, great write up!
    Cuirous if it is possible to somehow do this with my Youtube Channel (or rather videos from my youtube channel that show up in google search results)????

  • Lauren FitzHugh

    Rick, thanks so much! This is a great article. I feel a little more confident about the authorship now, but I still have a question to which I can’t seem to find an answer. I have 2 wordpress.com blogs and I can’t figure out how to claim authorship as I don’t have access to the .php file. [Or at least I don't think I do.] Can you offer some insight or point me to a resource that might be helpful? Many thanks!

 

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