Google Plus Authorship
Google is piloting the display of author information in search results to help users discover great content. This feature is being rolled out gradually and will be implemented algorithmically, so author information will not always display in search results. Please view this Picasa album to see some of our pilot authors.
To identify the author of a blog or article, Google checks for a connection between the content
page (such as an article), an author page, and a Google Profile. Authorship markup uses the
rel attribute (part of the open HTML5 standard) in links to indicate the relationship between a content page and an author page.
A rich profile is not only a great way to share information with users, but it also gives Google information we need to better identify you as the author of web content.
Here are some tips for creating a rich, useful Google Profile:
- Update your Google Profile with links to any of your other author pages around the web. (To add links to your profile, click Edit profile, then click the Links box on the right of the page and add the links you want.)
- Your profile picture must be a photograph of yourself and of high quality in order to be eligible for be shown as a thumbnail in search results.
- To easily link to your Google Profile, add the Profile button to your site.
When Google detects content you’ve marked as yours, we’ll list that content on the +1 tab of your Google Profile (we’ll do this automatically as soon as you’ve +1’d at least one webpage). You’ll need to create at least one +1 on your own (look for the button on search results or around the web) before we can add authored content to your +1 tab. (If you haven’t +1’d anything yet, just click this button and you’ll be all set:
On the +1 tab, you’ll also be able to see all the content you’ve +1’d, as well as content that you’ve identified as yours using tags.
The process for identifying author information varies, depending on whether your site or blog contains information by a single author or by multiple authors.
Single-author blogs and sites
If you publish a blog or site featuring content by a single author, the simplest way to identify author information is to add a link to your Google Profile on every page, like this:
<a rel="author" href="https://profiles.google.com/109412257237874861202">About Matt Cutts</a>
rel="author" tells Google that Matt is the creator of the site.
Here are a couple of great examples, both of which use the Google Profiles button:
- Silicon Filter (check the upper right-hand corner):
<a rel="author" href="https://profiles.google.com/f.lardinois">
- Radioactive Yak (check the right-hand column):
<a rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/111169963967137030210/posts"
Once you’ve linked to your Google Profile from your blog, add your blog URL to the Links section of your Google Profile.
If you use WordPress to create your blog, here are some tips.
- Make sure you’re using the latest version. If your template allows a byline with an author URL, this will let you add
rel="author"to your post byline.
- If your blog has an About page, you can modify its link to include
- If rel=”author” is disappearing from your profile page, you can enable
rel="author"in author bios.
If you publish a site featuring content by multiple authors, you’ll want to make sure to identify the author of each individual piece of content.
To identify the author of an article, Google checks for a connection between the content page (such as an article), an author page, and a Google Profile.
- A content page can be any piece of content with an author: a news article, blog post, short story …
- An author page is a page about a specific author, on the same domain as the content page.
- A Google Profile is Google’s version of an author page.
In confirming authorship, Google looks for two things:
- Links from the content page to the author page (if the path of links continues to a Google Profile, we can also show Profile information in search results)
- A path of links back from your Google Profile to your content.
These reciprocal links are important: without them, anyone could attribute content to you, or you could take credit for any content on the web.
Authorship markup uses the
rel attribute (part of the open HTML5 standard) in links to indicate the relationship between a content page and an author page. Here’s how all these pages work together.
rel="author" link indicates the author of an article, and can point to any of the following:
- An author page on the same domain as the content page:
Written by <a rel="author" href="../authors/mattcutts">Matt Cutts</a>
- A Google Profile:
Written by <a rel="author" href="https://profiles.google.com/109412257237874861202">Matt Cutts</a>
rel="author" link tells Google and search engines that Matt is the author of the article.
Linking multiple author pages
An author page on a site can often link to other web pages about the same author, such as the author’s home page or a social networking profile. To tell Google that all these profiles represent the same person, use a
rel="me" link to establish a link between profile pages.
Say that Matt is a frequent contributor to https://foo.example.com. Here’s a link from his https://example.com author page to the page he maintains on https://mattcutts.com:
<a rel="me" href="https://mattcutts.com">Read more about Matt</a>
In turn, Matt’s profile on https://mattcutts.com points back to his author page on https://foo.example.com, like this:
Matt has also written <a rel="me" href="https://foo.example.com/contributors/mattcutts">lots of articles for the Foo Times</a>.
rel="me" links tell Google that the profiles at https://mattcutts.com and https://example.com/contributors/mattcutts represent the same person.
Here are some examples of how you might use authorship markup and Google Profiles to help Google surface your content. (This feature is being rolled out gradually and will be implemented algorithmically, so author information will not always display in search results.)
1. You write an article for a website, and also have an author page on the same website (example)
- The article should link to your author page on the same site using
rel="author", like this example:
<a rel="author" href="https://www.cnet.com/profile/iamjaygreene/">Jay Greene</a>
- Your author page should link to your Google Profile using
rel="me", like this example:
<a rel="me" href="https://plus.google.com/105240469625818678725/"> <img src="//www.google.com/images/icons/ui/gprofile_button-16.png"> </a>
- Your Google Profile should link back to your author page on the website. When you add this link to your profile, be sure to check the This page is specifically about me checkbox. This creates a
rel="me"link to that author page.
2. You write an article for a website, and you have no author page on that domain (example)
- The article should link to your Google Profile using
rel="author", like this:
Check out <a href="https://plus.google.com/101169865857654555922" rel="author">John's Google+ profile</a>.
- Your Google Profile should link to back to the website’s home page.
Testing profile and publication links
To check your markup and see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the rich snippets testing tool. The tool only looks at a single page, so for now, you’ll need to check author pages and content pages separately to see if they are linking to each other correctly.
One last step
After you’ve followed all our instructions above, please complete this form so we can let you know of any implementation issues. While we won’t be able to individually reply to everyone who fills out this form we may be in touch with questions about your data.
We represent multiple major corporations and they are available for references. Justin@OwnSocialMedia.com