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Using rel= author for Google

October 3rd, 2012 No comments

Google is pushing a bunch of things this year. (Hold the nasty comments, people.) Two of those things come into play when we talk about the rel=author tag: authority and Google Plus.

Google wants people to send notice of their authority when writing and publishing. It seems like the days of the anonymous ‘web content provider’ may indeed be numbered.

rel=authorPages with authorship noted should be seen as more “authoritative,” of course. If you have a job as a content provider it is in your own best interest to link your writing to a personal Google Plus profile. Hypothetically that profile can be created specifically for your job but if you leave that job in the future, the authorship of web pages stays with your name. And that’s only fair.

More on that later, but let’s look at how to implement this. It’s not hard at all.

Implementing rel=author for Google and GooglePlus

  1. For every web page you create you can add a rel=author tag. The tag is simple. It goes inside the head of your document and it looks like this:<link rel=”author” href=”Google_plus_profile”>

    In the href for Google_plus_profile, link your own. Mine is https://plus.google.com/u/0/115674143020053957814/posts.

  2. Next, you need to go to your Google Plus profile, edit Profile and under Contributor to, add a custom link with the name for the site and the site url.
  3. Test it using Google Webmaster Tool’s rich snippets testing tool:  http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets

Why authorship?
I like this idea. I’ve written thousands of uncredited pages for the web. Now, honestly, many of these I’m happy to not take credit for. (Example? I once wrote a page on tweezers for a site called firstaid101.com.) But really, if you’ve written a page that is worth posting to the web, you should take credit for it.

Google’s authorship tag is a great way for everyone to recognize the importance of legitimately good writers working on the web. And it means increased accountability in posting pages and, in the long run, a reduction of drivelous spam.

Google is also pushing Google Plus in this, making it just a little bit more necessary to use your Google Plus account, even if they are no longer pushing it in search results.