• 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
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  • 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/


  • 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

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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.


  • http://www.stanleyoppenheimer.com searchengineman

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

    @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!