How To Implement Rel=Author

// // July 01st 2011 // SEO

Overshadowed by the Google+ launch was the implementation of the rel=author markup in search results. Once implemented, authors are given a very prominent treatment on search results.

google search results with rel=author

It doesn't reorder the results (yet) but it certainly highlights that result and likely drives a much higher click through rate. I was already interested in rel=author, but this was enough to get me off the proverbial couch and try it out myself.

Unfortunately the authorship directions provided by Google, while probably comprehensive, are confusing.

Thankfully, Louis Gray got me into Google+ and it was there that I put out the bat signal for a rel=author expert. Three Google employees quickly responded and set me straight on how exactly to implement rel=author.

A big thank you to Googlers Pierre Far, Daniel Dulitz and Jeremy Hylton for their assistance. Here's what I learned from them.

Three Link Monte

The TL;DR version for implementing rel="author" is that it requires three specific links.

  • A link from your blog post or article to your author page using rel="author"
  • A link from your author page to your Google profile page using rel="me"
  • A link from your Google profile page to your author page using rel="me"

Read on for specific directions on how to get rel="author" up and running on your own site or blog.

[Update 12/15/2011] While I still prefer the method described in this post, Google does allow you to verify authorship via an email address. Directions for this method can be found on the new Authorship home page.

Blog Post

The first link is from your blog post to an author page on the same domain. This is essentially a link that tells Google about the authorship of the posts on that domain. That's why you use rel="author" on this link. A blog with multiple authors will have multiple author pages, with the posts each author has written pointing to their own author page using rel="author".

But the author page does not have to be an actual author page. For a solo blogger, you can simply use your about page because that is about the author of the site.

Most templates will have the author of the post in the byline. This is where you want to place the rel="author" link.

Here's what I did. In WordPress I navigated to Appearance > Editor and then chose to edit my Single Post file. I then looked for the byline section and updated where it was going and added the rel="author" attribute.  (Use the quotes!)

rel=author code

Now every one of my posts will have a link in the byline from my name to my about page using the rel="author" attribute.

[Update] You can actually use the root domain as your author page if it a) has a link, using rel="me" to your Google profile and b) if it is not on a free host domain such as WordPress or Blogger. (Credit: @pedrodias)

Frankly, I think this makes it a bit more confusing but it is another option if you really don't have a true author or about page.

Author Page

The second link is from the author page to your Google profile page. This link tells Google that the author of that domain is the same person as the one in the Google profile. You're essentially claiming that Google profile as your own, which is why you use rel="me" on this link.

The best practice is to link to the base URL of your Google profile.

https://plus.google.com/115106448444522478339

This might be a bit confusing because the base URL will default to a /posts suffix. It is further complicated by the implementation of Google+ which changes the subdomain from profiles to plus.

Don't worry. If you're not using Google+ yet use your current Google profile URL. Google will put in the proper 301 redirect from the old profile to the new once you're using Google+.

[Update] Another way you can link to your Google profile is by creating a G+ button. Just make sure you select the 'author' option when generating the code and it will insert the rel="me" attribute. (Credit: @pedrodias)

Google Profile

The third link is from your Google profile to your author page. A link to your domain is not going to cut it.

Linking to the actual author page makes sense in light of multi-author sites and blogs. You might not be the author of all the content on that domain, but you want to show that you're the author of those few guest posts.

Edit Google Profiles for Rel=Author Markup

Go to your Google profile and select edit profile. Then click on the Links section and click Add custom link (it's at the bottom). Then enter your label and author page URL and make sure you check the 'This page is specifically about me.' box. That will put a rel="me" on this link.

Now you have a rel="me" attribute pointing from your Google profile to your author page. Add a link for each author page. This would include your own blog but also the author pages for any sites or blogs to which you've contributed content.

My OCD kicks in here since every other link I have is a very clean link to my places on the web. In the future I'm hoping Google could create a separate link list for these author pages.

[Update] Ask and you shall receive! Google has created a separate set of links labeled 'Contributor to' for authorship purposes. It is now recommended to use this section to complete the authorship loop.

Google Contributor to Links

This new option is displayed when you edit links on your profile. The one major change here is that you'll no longer see the 'This page is specifically about me' box.

Google Contributor to Link Interface

Link to your author page if you're using the three-link method, particularly for work on a multi-author site or blog. Link to the home page if you're using the two-link method which I haven't described here (yet). There is some indication that a home page link here might work for either method, but I'd err on the side of caution until that is confirmed.

How To Check Your Work

The last step is checking your work. To see if you've done everything correctly, run a sample blog post or article through the rich snippet testing tool. You can use my time saving Rich Snippets Testing Tool Bookmarklet for this task.

In my first attempt, I kept getting "verified = Author link is not verified."

What did that mean?

Was Google just waiting to verify the links? No. It meant I'd screwed up the implementation. This is what you want to see instead.

Rich Snippet Test Tool Results for Rel=Author

If this isn't what you're seeing go back and check your work again. A missed quote or placing it outside of the link element could be the culprit. In addition, you will not see the author image in the tool. Nor will you see the image immediately in search results. That might be disconcerting but it's expected and nothing to worry about.

[Update] There's been some chatter about whether you need to submit your site via Authorship Request Form or Rich Snippets Interest Form to enable rel="author".

The answer is NO. Here's what Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller confirmed.

We will pick up the authorship information automatically as we recrawl and reindex the pages involved, but this can take a bit of time until it's visible. You do not need to submit either of these forms for authorship information. That said, the form linked from the help center article is useful to fill out, since it gives our team a contact person on your side should we notice something amiss with the markup on your side.

[Update] Google Product Manager Sagar Kamdar reports that there is a bug in the Rich Snippet Testing Tool for those trying to verify authorship mark-up, particularly for those using the alternate two-link method. This method can be used for blogs with one author and entails a rel="author" link from the home page to the Google Profile with a rel="me" link from the Google Profile back to the home page.

The bug means that you'll get a negative response even when you've set it up properly. Google is working quickly to fix this bug, hoping to have it deployed by next week.

I'll update this post once more when I know how long it takes between implementation and having the profile image displayed in search results.

[Update] On July 7th, about one week after I implemented rel="author" on this blog, my smiling mug is being displayed on Google search results. (Thanks to the JoshMeister for the heads up.)

rel author search results example

The week between implementation and display is only for those URLs that have been recrawled recently. So this post, and my recent Google+ review both have rel="author" display but an older post on SEO and UX does not. To be clear, it's not about the age of the URL, it's simply what Google is crawling again. I have older posts, such as my Facebook SEO post that do have the rel="author" in place.

So your mileage may vary depending on how often your site and individual URLs are crawled.

[Update 12/15/2011] You can now also check Author stats in Google Webmaster Tools to see statistics for pages for which you are the verified author.

That's how I implemented rel=author. Let me know if it works for you and if you've found other ways to implement it on WordPress or other platforms like Blogger.

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Comments About How To Implement Rel=Author

// 222 comments so far.

  1. Ralf Muschall // July 01st 2011

    Is the boldfaced “on the same domain” essential? In that case this would be impossible for people who have their blog hosted by google Himself – the blogs there are on http://username.blogSPOT.com, and the profile and other stuff is at http://www.blogGER.com/profile/numerical_user_ID. I tried following the recipe, google automatically inserts several author links.

    Testing both profile sites on webmaster/tools shows the rel=”me” links to be present, testing the blogspot (or a single post therein) says:

    author
    profile = http://www.blogger.com/profile/04261178237250734174
    verified = Author link is not verified.

  2. AJ Kohn // July 01st 2011

    Ralf,

    To my knowledge the content and the author page do have to be on the same domain. But try testing one of your actual blog posts in the rich snippets testing tool now (instead of the profile pages) and see if it works.

  3. Ralf Muschall // July 01st 2011

    I did (even before commenting), and I tried also for several other blogger bloggers.. A blog post is http://ralfmuschall.blogspot.com/2011/06/building-pidgin-on-kubuntu.html, this links (unverifiedly, rel=”author”) to http://www.blogger.com/profile/04261178237250734174, that links (rel=”me”) to https://profiles.google.com/105791037149722415966, and that links (rel=”me”) back to the blogger profile. So I think the problem is with google having distributed stuff over two domains.

    I just tried a dirty trick: I created a new blog post and used blogger’s HTML editor to manually insert a rel=”author” link that points to that post himself (http://ralfmuschall.blogspot.com/2011/07/experimental-post-for-testing-relauthor.html). Now the tool says “verified”, but google search does not the post in any way.

  4. AJ Kohn // July 01st 2011

    Interesting Ralf. I do believe that the content URL and author URL have to be on the same domain. It’s odd that a self-referring rel”author” link works. Is that a link on that post to your Google profile?

  5. Ralf Muschall // July 01st 2011

    All links in my last comment are the real ones (by cut and paste). I used the post itself as “author” page in order to have it in the same domain as the content. I also inserted an rel=author link into another blog post (the one about pidgin on kubuntu), and it verified OK (but still no search highlights, but this might because google has not recrawled that one yet (I inserted a few words and they weren’t found)).

  6. Sid // July 01st 2011

    Hey there,

    I checked this link, and the rich snippet tool shows “verified.” Great.

    I have tweaked my profile (thanks), and I think it is only a matter of weeks before Google pics up our names and displays them on the SERPs.

    However, have you noticed the author image on the search pages? For some reason, Google is not able to pull gravatar pics and shows an error in the rich snippet tool. I wonder if you have anything to say about that. :)

    Oh, also Google Profiles redirect to Google+. Strange.

  7. AJ Kohn // July 01st 2011

    Sid,

    Yes, profiles are fully integrated into Google+. So if you’re in, just use the new plus.google.com URL instead of the old profiles.google.com URL.

    It’s my understanding that the image displayed in search results is the primary image you have uploaded to your Google profile.

  8. Adelson (Gerenciando Blog) // July 03rd 2011

    Hi, AJ!

    Nice news from Google! It’s really nice to see Google going more and more social.

    I’ve followed all the instructions and was verified. Now, I’m waiting to see the results.

    Do you know how long will take to see the diferences in search results?

    Thansl!

  9. AJ Kohn // July 03rd 2011

    Thanks for reading and I’m glad it worked for your Adelson. As far as how long it will take, I’ve been told that the roll out could be very slow. It’s tough to know what that means in Google language though. I’ll post an update as soon as I know something more on timing.

  10. Ralf Muschall // July 03rd 2011

    @ADELSON: This discussion has forked, half (or more) of it seems to happen on https://plus.google.com/100535338638690515335/posts/Vc3qCPsuMmh (this is a buzz post by Louis Gray and the coments thereof).

    Over there, John Mueller wrote “… we need time to recrawl and reindex the pages … I’m guessing that this will be in the order of weeks…”.

  11. AJ Kohn // July 03rd 2011

    Thanks for that link Ralf. This post is spread all over the place now (I’m not complaining.) I’ve hear weeks but I’m not even sure that’s a valid number. I got word from someone else that Google’s being very careful with this roll out. I can understand why though, since some SERPs could quickly become cluttered with smiling faces.

    I’m tracking my time since implementation and display, and will post an update as soon as I have that data point.

  12. Andy Williams // July 05th 2011

    Thanks for the information.

    I am going to check this out tonight and have a play around.

  13. Brian Greenberg // July 05th 2011

    Thank you for the info. So much cool stuff you can add to your pages now.

  14. Blake McGillis // July 06th 2011

    I’m fairly new to the concept of social networking. But a part of me is a bit disturbed by what could soon be a monopolization of Google by Google, since you’ll need to have a Google+ account to stay competitive.

    On the other hand, why shouldn’t Google have some influence on its own search engine? And, furthermore, if you’re going to stay competitive online, you’re going to need to be using a lot of social networking anyway. So, this rel=author implementation is just a reward for people who are quick to adapt.

  15. Wool Overs // July 07th 2011

    Great post, Google is rolling out so many changes and features with all the +1 implementation that bits like this are easy to miss.

  16. Sue Walker // July 07th 2011

    Thanks for your very helpful post. I am doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge, so think I will wait until that is completed before trying it out – unless I have a couple of hours to spare!

  17. Mark@MakeThemClick // July 07th 2011

    “Unfortunately the authorship directions provided by Google, while probably comprehensive, are confusing.”

    Damn right.

    I followed all of Google’s instructions but was totally overwhelmed by the time the i finished.

    I too got an unverified message for all my connected accounts

    I shall read yours at length to see where I went wrong.

  18. Mark@MakeThemClick // July 07th 2011

    AJ,

    Ok I managed to make some progress and at least get my About Me page verified.

    But I couldn’t figure out how to verify my Linkedin, twitter and Facebook links.

    I reread your post and the Google Help post over and over but really couldn’t understand where they were going.

    I need some thing that says “To verify your social media links do this…”

    Hope someone can clear this up for me.

    Thanks in advance

  19. Sid // July 07th 2011

    Snippet tool shows my author name as verified. And somehow my Google+ profile with links to my blog, Twitter has been featured.

    Cool, right? I still don’t know if my author pic will be displayed on Google, but I haven’t posted articles in a while.

    Pic: http://i.imgur.com/2ZRUr.png

  20. Michael // July 10th 2011

    Hi AJ,

    Say I have authors A, B and C, how do I automatically link to their profile pages on my site in each post?

    Obviously hard coding the link to the about page won’t work in this case.

    The other question I had was how to find my Google Id to implement step 2 and how do I link on the about page to that profile. Simply a sentence like, you can find my google profile here (hyperlink)?

    Thanks for your assistance.

  21. AJ Kohn // July 11th 2011

    Mark,

    For sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, simply add those links to your Google Profile and make sure you click the ‘This page is specifically about me.’ box. If you have these links on your own site you can simply add the rel=”me” attribute to those as well.

    Sorry for the delay and I hope that clears it up.

  22. AJ Kohn // July 11th 2011

    Sid,

    That’s interesting, you’re getting sitelinks on your Google profile. Snazzy!

  23. SanDiegoTim // July 11th 2011

    Thank you AJ for this post. You made it very easy for me to figure out how to add these rich snippets.

    Do I need to do the same for my static home page if I want my picture to show up next to it too? Having my author byline on the home page doesn’t fit aesthetically.

    If I need to add it to the home page would it be inappropriate to add it without an anchor tag such as

    Thank you.

  24. Lars Vogel // July 12th 2011

    Looks like WordPress also generated an rel=”author” link which is incorrect. Please see http://wordpress.org/support/topic/postinfo-contains-relauthor for the change request and a solution.

  25. Mark@MakeThemClick // July 12th 2011

    AJ

    re “make sure you click the ‘This page is specifically about me.’ box.”

    yeh tried that already, doesn’t work.

    Actually I’ve tried it over and over again, with no luck.

    What’s even weirder is that I connected my hotmail account to Google+ and now that has appeared as verified in my profile automatically. I didn’t even have to add it.

    Plus there’s an old twitter account which I never use that’s appearing as verified. Once again, I never added it and never linked to it, so it beats me as to how it can appear verified, while nothing I do verifies the others.

  26. AJ Kohn // July 13th 2011

    Michael,

    The automatic linking for various others on a multi-author blog would need to be done with a combination of your theme and PHP tweaks. I haven’t done due diligence here yet, but in general I believe you’ll need to ensure that the byline is populated using the author.php file, which is then dynamically generating the link based on the author. If I have time I’ll try to track this down.

    However, I can definitely help you find your Google ID. You should be able to access this on most Google properties when you’re logged into your Google account. Simply click on the drop down menu by your name at the top left corner and select Profile. Then use that URL, minus the /about or /posts as your link from the author page to your profile.

    You can then simply link to it from your about page within the text or generate the G+ profile button and place it on that page.

    Good luck and hope that helps.

  27. AJ Kohn // July 13th 2011

    San Diego Tim,

    Interesting question. I haven’t gotten that to work on this blog yet. What I’m going to try is putting a G+ button on the home page with rel=”me”. I’m not sure this is going to work or not but I’m going to give it a try. I’m also seeing people using rel=”author” straight from the home page to the Google Profile. It seems to work but breaks the traditional 3-link system.

    Google’s not making this easy.

  28. AJ Kohn // July 13th 2011

    Lars,

    Thanks for that link. It would be nice if WordPress fully addressed rel=”author” in a future patch.

  29. AJ Kohn // July 13th 2011

    Mark,

    Google is pretty good at crawling publicly available data and connecting the dots on ownership of other social properties, which is likely how they got your Twitter account. (You’ve got the website on your Twitter profile and on your Google Profile.)

    About the box, are you saying you can’t actually click that box or that doing so isn’t getting rel=”author” to work?

  30. Mark // July 13th 2011

    Thanks again AJ,

    yes I’ve ticked the box, I can even see that it’s ticked every time I re-edit it, yet the links in question never verify.

    Re the twitter account, it’s actually an old unused one, and it’s not the one linked to from my website.

  31. AJ Kohn // July 13th 2011

    No problem Mark. By the way, your content is verified when I run a sample blog post through the rich snippets testing tool. So, I think you’ve got it covered it’s just a matter of waiting for Google to crawl your site again.

  32. anthony brunetti // July 13th 2011

    Hey AJ Kohn,

    You saw this on G+, so I figured I’d post it here.

    How to implement rel=”author” visual:
    http://anthonyvbrunetti.com/marketing/google-rel-author-infographic-how-to-implement/

    P.S. I added a link back to your article for detailed instructions. Please feel free to use my graphic at your will!

  33. jeanviet // July 14th 2011

    Hello AJ,

    Thanks for this great ressource to explain how to implement correcly the rel=author thing… I see that it works with your site en google.com/en but not on other google search local (french, uk, spanish,…).

    I did the thing 5 days ago…. normally, i’m good… see the results of the rich snippet tools. http://bit.ly/p3CpAO

    But nothing show ! Unfortunately, it look likes, Google choose the ones they want to show… like other rich snippets things (fn, adr, title) that have never been show for me in google results…

  34. Sam // July 14th 2011

    Hi, it is possible to implement that in a blog hosted on wordpress.com ? I have created a About page and i put a link to my my google profils Page with rel=”me”. Next, i created a link with rel=”author” in the sidebar who point to the About Page (it’s the steps by labnol.org).

    Then, i waited one day and i got the statut Verified Author by using the Snippet Tools. But, my profil is not showing next my blog posts in the SERP. I think that the link in the sidebar is not sufficient to validate the post and his author because i got some error like “Missing hcard=autor”

    Unfortunatly, WordPress.com don’y allow to modify the code to implement this functionnality.

  35. serge // July 14th 2011

    if i put the rel=”me” on the home page (root domain) i get this when i try to verifie Warning: The information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because the marked-up content does not appear to be the main focus of the page. More information. (Is this correct? Let us know.)

    Why do i get this ?

  36. Marquez // July 14th 2011

    I’m experiencing the same problem with Serge.

    I have a Tumblr blog where I post things that interest me, and this sort of weblog surely doesn’t need a separate about me page. I used to just link to my Twitter but now I want to verify my ownership of the site (I’m using my own domain, but the content is hosted on Tumblr).

    Currently, I’ve manage to successfully verify my ‘authorship’ using “rel=author -> /about -> rel=me -> G+ profile” method but I’d much prefer simply linking directly to my profile with an image hyperlink (which’ll be shown on top of every page).

    Also I have failed to make Google Buzz see my blog although I have added rel=me in with a link to my G+ profile.

    Anyone care to help?

  37. Patrick Black // July 15th 2011

    This is a great tutorial and I’ve completed the last 2 steps, but am having difficulty with the first. I use a hosted blog on Blogger (blogspot.com), I can edit the template, but I have no idea where to put the rel=”author” command. Any help?

  38. Ralf Muschall // July 15th 2011

    @Patrick Black: On Blogger, it is complicated due to the fact that google keeps content on blogspot.com and author pages on blogger.com. You might look at AJ’s answers to my comments above here on this page (result: make a blog post that becomes the “real” author page).

  39. Rob Snell // July 15th 2011

    On this page http://www.stevesnell.com/quail-hunting-last-week-of-the-season I got this error:

    Warning: The information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because the marked-up content does not appear to be the main focus of the page. More information. (Is this correct? Let us know.)

  40. Rob Snell // July 15th 2011

    Fixed it. Don’t put your links in the footer. For some reason they don’t like that!

  41. Patrick Black // July 15th 2011

    I did fix the about me post, Blogger has a new “pages” feature. I created a about me page, and linked that to my Google Profile. here – http://teachingall.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html I think that takes care of that step, the problem is that I have no idea where in the Template file to add the rel=”author” command…I have access to the entire template, but CSS is not something I’ve worked with a lot – any help?

    Thanks in advance!

  42. AJ Kohn // July 16th 2011

    Jeanviet,

    I believe I’ve seen rel=”author” work in the UK, but I do not see them working in the .fr or .es properties. I’m not sure if this means rel=”author” isn’t supported in non-English search or if they’ll only display rel=”author” results from localized authors. So, if a French blogger implemented rel=”author” they might show up under google.fr search results.

    And wait another few days for rel=”author” to display in search results. I note that the last cached date for that post is July 12, so you’ll need to wait for Googlebot to come by and crawl that page again to be eligible for the rel=”author” SERP presentation.

  43. AJ Kohn // July 16th 2011

    Sam,

    You’ve set everything up appropriately and it passes the Snippet Tool test. The error you see is not related to rel=”author” but the hCard microformat which I thought should be handled by WordPress. It may be a configuration issue, but that’s not going to impact your rel=”author” implementation.

    At this stage you simply need to wait for Googlebot to crawl your site again to recognize the rel=”author” implementation. For some blogs this may take longer than the week it did for me. So hang in there, be patient and let us know when it does finally appear.

  44. AJ Kohn // July 16th 2011

    Serge,

    If you’re linking from your home page to your Google profile (which is another option for a blog with a single author) you should use rel=”author” pointing to your Google Profile and then ensure you’re pointing back to your blog via the Links section of your Google Profile using rel=”me”.

    Try that and see if that clears up the issue.

  45. AJ Kohn // July 16th 2011

    Marquez,

    So, the three link method seems to be the most bulletproof way to confirm authorship but there is another way for blogs with just one author. In those instances you can link from your home page to your Google Profile using rel=”author” and back to your blog from your Google Profile using rel=”me”.

    Please note, at present, there is a bug in the rich snippet tool that will show this configuration as not-verified. Google is working to fix this bug, hopefully by next week. So, in the interim you can continue to use the method your have in place, or try the more streamlined version, though it may not show as verified.

  46. AJ Kohn // July 16th 2011

    Rob,

    Thank you for reporting this issue and the fix. This provides some further evidence that Google views links in the footer as different from other links. In this case it doesn’t seem to trust footer links as a way to validate authorship. Nice work!

  47. AJ Kohn // July 16th 2011

    Patrick,

    Unfortunately I’m not familiar with the Blogger interface. I do note that your byline for each post (e.g. – Posted by Patrick Black at 8:00am) is not linked. That’s the place where you’d want it. You may want to see if there is a setting or ability to add information about each author under the user administration interface.

    Any Blogger users around who could help Patrick out?

  48. Ralf Muschall // July 16th 2011

    Thanks to Patrick for telling about the new “page” feature on blogspot, now I have an “about me” there that doesn’t have to be a post.
    There is yet another problem with Blogger+Blogspot: It somehow automagically inserts several links to the “official” profile on blogger.com. I hope the SE will not be confused by them and follow the valid one that I inserted in the template.

  49. Jeanviet // July 18th 2011

    Hello AJ,

    Thanks for your anwser… I wrote another article 2 days ago, google bot crawl it few hours after its publication… but still not seeing any picture :-( nor in google.fr, nor in google.com. I guess the picture display in SERP only work for english spoken blogs… I don’t know the reason… But it’s like that !

  50. eli davidson // July 20th 2011

    Very cool information of us all to use!

  51. Suzanne Roy // July 22nd 2011

    6 hours later and still getting the “Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=me link to a Google Profile” message on the Rich Snippet test site! My site is http://www.vawork.com – if you can take a look and see if you can determine what I could be doing incorrectly that would be AMAZING!!! Thanks for the info!

  52. AJ Kohn // July 27th 2011

    Suzanne,

    Try changing the link you have on your Google Profile from your contact us page to your home page (http://www.vawork.com/blog/) and see if that works.

  53. Herman dailybits // August 01st 2011

    This how-to worked perfectly and 5min’s later all links were set-up and the google-tool confirmed the author-links.

  54. 臺語是客家話 // August 05th 2011

    語法添加成功了。 :)

  55. AJ Kohn // August 06th 2011

    感謝您的意見,祝你好運!

  56. pieter van andel // August 11th 2011

    One important addition to the final step (adding link in google) is that you should set the links to `viewable to everybody` otherwise google will give the error `Error: Google Profile does not link to article site (learn more)`

  57. Paul Morin // August 13th 2011

    I have read several articles on this topic and this by far the best written and easiest to follow. Thank you for making it very clear, step by step.

  58. Bill Stoddard // August 18th 2011

    In the rich snippets testing tool, all of my content pages were getting the error “Warning: The information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because the marked-up content does not appear to be the main focus of the page. More information. (Is this correct? Let us know.)”

    The error disappeared after I removed all rel=”me” links.

  59. Bill Stoddard // August 18th 2011

    On three of my websites, I have implemented the three link method of showing authorship. Everything seems correct, and they pass the Rich Snippets Testing Tool test, but my profile photo doesn’t show up with Google search results (after several weeks).

    Do you know how long this is supposed to take?

    Do you know if there are other requirements (such as it works only for certain types of web sites, or the page rank must be above a certain threshold)?

    Thanks for your excellent explaination.

  60. Gautam Doddamani // August 19th 2011

    such a great tutorial…just set up authorship using your instructions…simple and easy. also one more suggestion for wordpress users…we can setup rel=author link in user bios itself in wp…some users complain that wordpress strips out the html formatting…for that we can use a plugin called html in author bio :)

  61. AJ Kohn // August 24th 2011

    Thanks for the kind words Paul. I’m glad I could help.

  62. AJ Kohn // August 24th 2011

    Bill,

    The time from implementation to display varies based on when Google crawls and reindexes those pages. I’m not sure if there are other requirements at this stage but I’ll poke around to find out. One of the issues that may be in play is that Google may crawl but not reindex the page. By that I mean that they may not see appreciable changes to update the page. The addition of rel=”author” may not be part of the reindexation trigger at this stage, though it might be as Google iterates.

  63. Casey Armstrong // August 24th 2011

    This is awesome. Thanks for that. Just did it for my site.

  64. Paul // September 01st 2011

    It looks like it should work but I get this error:

    author
    linked author profile = http://www.investing-in-rental-property.com/about-me.html
    google profile = http://profiles.google.com/103383438505202594491/about
    Error: Google Profile does not link to article site (learn more)

  65. AJ Kohn // September 02nd 2011

    Paul,

    A sample page from your sites seems to validate for me via the Rich Snippets Testing Tool. Try again and let me know if the problem persists.

  66. Paul // September 04th 2011

    Thanks for looking AJ

    I still get the same error

    author
    linked author profile = http://www.investing-in-rental-property.com/about-me.html
    google profile = http://profiles.google.com/103383438505202594491/about
    Error: Google Profile does not link to article site (learn more)

    I tried logging out of my Google acct, but that does not seem to matter.

  67. Ganbat // September 14th 2011

    Thanks Man! Worked like a charm on very 1st try!

  68. Friedrich Zohmann // September 18th 2011

    Hi,

    great article and I now fully understand the principle behind rel=”author”, but I still have one question which I was not finding an answer for.

    I run a website where members can write reviews for restaurants. Each restaurant can have multiple reviews written by different members. Every member has his own profile page on my site (where they can place links to their website and social network profiles). I would like to implement the rel=”author” tag in every review, which links to the members profile page on my site.
    My question now is: Wouldnt such an implementation confuse Google as there would be multiple rel=”author” tags on a single page? I mean, how can Google see which review is written by which author?
    I have marked up every review with microformats from microformats.org. So maybe this would help Google to determine the above, but I m not sure.
    Also is the rel=”author” tag one from schema.org? I read that you should not mix microformats from schema.org and microformats.org.

    Maybe you can answer these questions.

    thanks

  69. Shil @ HP // September 20th 2011

    AJ, you’ve explained this beautifully. I’ve been trying to find posts relating to rel author and yours is by far the most comprehensive and easy to understand post I’ve seen. Thank you for sharing how you did it :)

  70. Jimmy // September 21st 2011

    Thank you a million for posting that rich text snippet tool!! Totally confirmed that I did it right, which I was not sure about.

  71. AJ Kohn // September 21st 2011

    Thanks Shil. I appreciate the feedback and am glad you found it helpful.

  72. AJ Kohn // September 21st 2011

    No problem Jimmy. One word of caution. You may sometimes see some odd errors pop up using that tool. It’s a bit brittle right now and Google is aggressively ironing out the kinks.

  73. Jimmy // September 22nd 2011

    AJ-

    Interestingly, I keep seeing an error telling me that I’m using rel=author and rel=me on the same page. Upon checking the page source, I found NO rel=me code on the page (as I expected.) Thanks for the heads up!

    Jimmy

  74. AJ Kohn // September 22nd 2011

    Jimmy,

    Exactly. I’ve confirmed that what you describe is a known bug with the Rich Snippets Testing Tool that should be resolved shortly. Your code is fine, the tool is just a bit janky right now.

  75. AJ Kohn // September 22nd 2011

    Friedrich,

    This is actually an interesting edge case. So you’re aggregating a number of individual reviews on one page? In that case, I don’t believe that rel=”author” will be viable. Google is only associating one author per piece of content. Now, if each individual review has its own URL, then that URL could clearly be eligible for rel=”author”.

    But it does bubble to the surface the idea of shared authorship. Your specific case might not be feasible given the large number of potential reviewers, but what about co-authors of a research paper? Definitely an interesting line of thought.

  76. Brian Massey // September 28th 2011

    Google+ is affecting search rankings for authors on the web, so we need to make sure we’re playing the game. Thanks for telling us how to establish ourselves as the masters of our content in the eyes of Google.

  77. Richard // September 30th 2011

    I have to agree that it will improve conversion rates, especially if the author is well known in that industry. If I see something come up in the search results and I don’t know who it’s by I am less likely to click on it. I wonder if they will eventually put forth icons for well known establishments.. like the AP or Reuters?

  78. Russell Jensen // October 04th 2011

    Just implemented and tested it. Works like a charm. When will we see rel=”author” affect rankings?

  79. AJ Kohn // October 05th 2011

    Russell,

    It’ll take anywhere from a week to a month for authorship to show up on SERPs. My experience has been that having that image increases the CTR of that result. So that’s the first impact you’ll likely see.

    As for when authorship will be used as a real ranking signal? That’s still murky. Google will need more authors to adopt the mark-up and then test to see how it can be integrated into the algorithm. I do believe it will be a signal since it will convey a certain level of trust and authority.

  80. Gareth // October 05th 2011

    Thanks. Just followed this guide, waiting for my face to appear all over google now!

  81. nisha verma // October 11th 2011

    Hey AJ,

    I have added my author page link in Google plus profile using “contributor-to” sector, but if i see the code i can see rel=”contributor-to” tag instead of rel=”me” tag. Will it work.

    Also if i am checking in rich snippet testing tool, it is displaying below error.
    “Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=me link to a Google Profile”

    Even after i have added a rel=”me” link from my about page to Google profile.

    Please help me.

  82. Hugo // October 14th 2011

    AJ,

    I just want to join my voice to all those who said that your article is the clearest and most up-to-date of those available online.

    I was confused by the lack of box to click the “This page is specifically about me” and you had an update about it.

    I find it strange though that I had my picture on the SERPs but it disappeared after a few days….

    I had to re-do my homework to make sure it was not my fault and you helped me a lot.

    Thanks.

  83. salustore // October 14th 2011

    Hey AJ,

    I aslo want to inform you that if I see the code I find rel=”contributor-to” take a look
    at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?url=www.salustore.com%2Ftoppik.html&view=

    Here the hompage with http://www.salustore.com/ with rel=”author”

    Unfortunatly it doesn’t work

    any suggestions?

  84. AJ Kohn // October 14th 2011

    Hugo,

    Thank you very much. I really appreciate the feedback. The disappearing SERP images was/is a presentation bug that Google identified and then fixed in spurts over the last week or so. During that time your authorship image may have flickered in and out based on search, browser and mode. It should be fine now and, if not, give it a few days and I think you’ll be okay.

  85. AJ Kohn // October 14th 2011

    Nisha,

    I’d be happy to help but I’ll need links to your G+ profile and website to verify that everything is set up correctly.

  86. AJ Kohn // October 14th 2011

    Authorship will likely not apply to product pages. I would suggest trying to apply it to your blog content and using the three link technique described in this post. That means a link from the post to an author page using rel=”author”, a link from the author page to the G+ profile using rel=”me” and then a link back from the G+ Contributor to section to the author page. Hope that helps.

  87. Taylor J. Thompson // October 19th 2011

    Hey, brother.

    I just wanted to say that this was a dang good post.

    I implemented this into my website, mainly because of Panda, but also to let people familiarize themselves with my Face. :) If no other authors implement this, which I don’t see a lot of people taking the time to do, it will be a huge CTR booster. :)

    It took me quite awhile to implement this though, because I used PHP, due to the fact that my site will likely have contributing authors. Lol. And I am not good at PHP… Just shoot and guess really. But I finally got it right, although an error is still coming up, even though everything is implemented correctly. Oh well. As long as my face appears in the search engines, I will be happy.

    Thanks again.

  88. AJ Kohn // October 24th 2011

    Taylor,

    Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad the post helped and that you’ve got it implemented. Give it some time to show up but let me know if you have any problems.

  89. topjer // October 26th 2011

    many thanks for great and simple tutorial, helpful for newbe like me :)

  90. Jones // October 27th 2011

    For those who are using wordpress and are getting warnings such as:
    Warning: The information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because the marked-up content does not appear to be the main focus of the page. More information. (Is this correct? Let us know.)

    You can find the fix at http://www.cellcircuit.com/2011/10/27/fix-wordpress-and-google-rich-snippets-markup-content-error/ .

  91. Jeremy Myers // October 28th 2011

    Great guide. Very helpful. I did everything and my site is verified and it says the author markup is correct.

    However, I get this warning:

    Warning: Missing required hCard “author”

    I have scoured the internet for hours on how to fix this problem, but cannot seem to figure it out. Any ideas?

  92. Doc Sheldon // October 28th 2011

    Hey, A.J.-

    Very helpful. The only problem I encountered is that when editing my links on my Google profile, the check box for “specifically about me” never appears. And without that, there doesn’t seem to be any way to add rel=”me” to those links out.

  93. Doc Sheldon // October 28th 2011

    Never mind! Just went back and finished the post. ;)

  94. gtwebworx // October 28th 2011

    Is this the solution on how to put an image of the author on Google’s search results?

  95. AJ Kohn // November 04th 2011

    Jeremy,

    hCard is a microformat that is often included in WordPress themes to varying degrees. There are ways to fix the error, but it won’t have an impact on authorship. In short, the error won’t prevent you from having rel=author work on your site.

  96. AJ Kohn // November 04th 2011

    Thank Doc! Please let me know if you encounter any problems.

  97. ecommerce blog // November 15th 2011

    We have implemented this for our blog on ecommerce. This works fine.

  98. Andro // November 18th 2011

    Dear All,
    I have been told via e-mail message from the person who made this blog to ask my questions here as a comment so I would like to ask what either hasn’t been explained or I haven’t understood. Hopefully someone could help. So:

    1. Am I required to use rel=”me” to use rel=”author” or can I use only only rel=”author”?

    2. In order to use rel=”author” am I absolutelly required (total MUST with no other way) to have and to use google profile account? I don’t want to have it and I hope pages on own website like “Contact Me” or “About Me” would be enough.

    3. I know with using rel=”author” it is possible to protect content from authority aspect but which exact content? The one which is located on the same page where the link (the one which has included this tag) is located (*) or the which is located on the page where the link is pointing to? Also subtopic of this third subject could be which part of text is counted as protecting authorship? Absolutelly everything or the one which is BELOW the link (in case of * marked above)?

    4. In this blog isn’t mentoined for what kind of links is rel=”author” used? It is for sure for internal links. It is probably pointless to use it on outbound links but question about outbound links still remain because being pointless doesn’t mean the rel=”author” cannot be used on them (outbound ones)? My main concern in this question goes to inbound links: can rel=”author” tag be used on them? I think yes but would like to make sure.

    5. Is there any rule, for using rel=”author” that link with this tag must point to different page (which doesn’t neccessary mean different website) comparing to the page where the link is located? I think the answer is yes because the point of author link with anchor text for example ”By MyNameHere” is to have a hyperlink pointing to the page where I introduce myself. This introduction page for sure isn’t on the same page but I would still need to have this question confirmed.

    6. This tag must be on a link which is actually pointing to profile page (which probably doesn’t neccessary mean google profile, at least I hope so – see second question). This tells me that the tag is meant to be used on mostly blogs because this is the location where are using link to yourself such as “Written on 10.11.2011 by NameHere”. But can it be used anywhere else, along blogs, as well? For example on random page where content is being target on the subject of specific keyword, link to profile normally isn’t used. Nothing is linking to profile/about me/who am i/contact me page. Does that mean I cannot use the tag?

    7. What if I would like to protect absolutelly ENTIRE website (including testimonials, footer, buttons, navigation menu, custom skype icon which indicates whether or not im offline or online, images, audio, logo etc) for every single sentence? Could this be possible? I heard google spider would give much more weight, from aspect of link juice, to LINKS (this tells me already the answer on this question would be no) with this tag implemented but I like the idea about it and I would use it for just entire website.

    Thanks a lot in advance.

  99. AJ Kohn // November 18th 2011

    Andro,

    Thanks for putting these here on the blog. This helps others who might have the same questions. Now, on to some answers.

    1. There are a number of ways you can set up authorship now. The method I describe is still the most stable in my opinion. However, you can use the parameter based version and append ?rel=author to a link where the anchor text ends in a +. Alternatively you can use the Google Profile Button which comes loaded with the code. I still find both methods to be brittle myself and prefer the linking method described in this post.

    2. Yes, at some point you must confirm authorship by having a link from a Google profile to your site or author page. There’s simply no way around that.

    3. I’m not sure I quite understand this question but once you establish authorship, every piece of content that has that mark-up is then attributed to that author. I set up and confirm authorship once on this blog and now every blog post I create (and have created) has that authorship attached.

    4. The rel=”author” tag is a closed system. It’s meant to confirm a two way handshake between content (your site) and an identity (your Google profile). I don’t see an application for rel=”author” on other types of links.

    5. If you’re linking rel=”author” to an about or author page as I describe it must be on the same domain.

    6. While blogs or articles are the main focus, I think anything that is authored could be viable. But again, you’ll still need to create the connection between that content and your identity.

    7. No, the rel=”author” tag can not be used on the variety of assets you describe.

  100. Andro // November 18th 2011

    Aj Kohn thank you for your respond. I still have some doubts about:

    1. What you said is actually not really related to my question but from another blog, located on different website, which also describe this tag, I read this:

    “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.”

    I am very aware that your blog is describing rel=”author” tag but some people, including me, can accidently mix them up with rel=”me” tag which also proves my first question that I asked. After reading this copied/pasted text about rel=”me”, we come to the conclusion those two tags are totally different and have different meanings. Link with ”me” tag is supposted to link FROM ”about me” or FROM similar page. Link with “author” tag is supposted to link TO “about me” or TO similar page. There are of course more differences but this one is probably enough to get answer my question: No, since those two are different tags, it isn’t needed (neither possible) to use them on the same link. Please comment on, if you would add something to this.

    3. You said ”every piece of the content”. Here I was actually asking two different questions in the same one but I will go more slowly. First one: Yes every piece of the content but which exact content? Lets assume we have link with the author tag on X page. The link is pointing to Y page. Which content will be protected? Probably the one on X page because the one on Y page is actually ”about me” (or similar) page. But the story gets more complicated if you would like to protect also the content on ”about me” (or similar) page.
    Second one: to understand the answer on this subquestion, your answer on 7th one can be very helpful. So as far as I understand you, you are saying that only the content (but entire one) in the body (e.g. approximately in the middle of the page or in the middle of the screen) of the page, including every potential heading, can be protected? Noting your 7th answer, this tells me that potential image INSIDE this content cannot be protected. So strictly only text (pure fonts) located in the body of the page. Is this correct? But what if (and in most cases it does) the content contains link (no matter which kind)? Should that link have author tag also? Also for my opinion if the link in menu (the one under or below [footer] body of page) or navigation menu (the one on either left or right side of body) has the author tag, it should work also. What do you think?

    4,5. Yes I know it is used for internal links for content on own website but firstly (without reading yet your 5th answer) I thought it can be used also when gathering any kind of self build (with ”self build” i mean i wouldn’t need to ask for them) inbound links so when posting the blog / article (of course in situation of NOT blogging on ”/blog” page of own website), guest posting on high authority websites etc. This content (entire one? see question 3.) should be protected also. But noting your 5th answer, this is not possible because when you do blogging for INBOUND links or where you do guest posting, this will never be same domain. Sure we can write down the note such as ”I should use author tag strictly for internal links” but from theoretical aspect, using google profile, it should work also. Why cannot it be used then?

    5 (previounsly i was relating to 4th AND 5th but now only to 5th).: You are mentoining linking to about OR author page. Haven’t you said before that I must have account and use google profile in order to use author tag? I quote your statement ”there’s simply no way around that” to avoid linking to google profile and still use author tag. At least this is what I understood from your 2th.

    Sorry for complicating so much but I think clarifying those doubts would also be helpful not just to me but many others also. Thank you a lot again for your patience.

  101. AJ Kohn // November 18th 2011

    Andro,

    The rel=”me” tag is much older than rel=”author” and dates back to XFN 1.1 (circa 2004). It was supposed to help create bi-directional relationships between profiles on the web. So you could link from a blog to a Twitter account using rel=”me” and vice versa and it would be a sort of decentralized identity system. It never really caught on but can still be useful in combination with rel=”author”.

    You’ll actually find rel=”me” tags in the mark-up for links from Google profiles under the About > Other Profiles section. This is Google (and by extension you) confirming that those other profiles are you.

    In point 3, are you concerned about claiming authorship of the ‘about’ or ‘authors’ page? While you won’t get a authorship style presentation for this page it should be clear to search engines to who that page is associated. In addition, you’re actually claiming authorship to the content on that URL. So you could construe that to mean everything on that URL but the footer on those pages is not really content per se. You want to claim authorship to content, text and, potentially, images as well.

    Multi-author sites which engage guest bloggers often have author pages (so you can see all of the posts by that contributor). These sites can employ authorship mark-up as I describe and then all you need to do is link to your author page on that site in the Contributor to section of your Google profile.

    In point 5, you can link to another page on that domain that serves as your ‘author’ page. This can be a true author page or an about page. However, from there you must link to your Google profile. This is the three link method I describe in this post.

    I hope this helps clear things up and I’d also suggest being less concerned with attaching these attributes to every single link on a page but instead concentrate on establishing authorship for the content you are producing.

  102. Doc Sheldon // November 18th 2011

    Hi, Adrien-

    I’ve got a question for you. I just took on a partner on my site (today, in fact). I implemented the rel=”me” and rel=”author” not too long ago, and now I’m wondering if I’m going to have to redo everything, or simply repeat the actions between my new partners profile page on the site, and her Google profile. It seems likely to me that the latter will be the case, but I’m not certain. Your thoughts?

  103. AJ Kohn // November 18th 2011

    Well first off, congratulations Doc on the expanding business, at least that’s how I read the situation.

    If you implemented authorship in the way this post describes then it should be much easier to make the transition from solo to multi-author blog/site. As you mention, all you’ll need to do is have an author page for your new partner and ensure that all posts from that partner link to that author page, then complete the link with links from that author page to the partner’s Google profile and vice versa.

    Let me know if you have any questions or encounter any problems.

  104. Andro // November 19th 2011

    Thank you again but:

    3.2; What exactly is here counted as “content” which will be protected from aspect of authorship? Im still having difficulties understanding what exactly will be protected and what not. Every piece of text for sure won’t be protected. Do you have any examples of what will be and what won’t be (per page)? With answering me that footer won’t be protected, I automatically got an answer that none of menus will be. But as content it could be also for example phone number under the navigation menu. I would still need some list of elements that are counted as content which will be protected. Internal link in the text is for sure counted as ”content” so this one will be protected too and it doesn’t need another rel author tag.

  105. Kathy Long // November 28th 2011

    I believe things have changed since you wrote this.

    When I go to my edit profile page, I have the option to add Other Profiles. There I can add a custom link to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, etc, and to my bio page that my blog points to. There is no option to select “This is about me.” Instead, Google automatically adds the rel=”author” tag to ALL of these profiles. Since they do this, I’m assuming they know not to get confused by so many pages that claim to be about “me,” and with the test I did today, I can confirm that.

  106. AJ Kohn // November 28th 2011

    Kathy,

    Thanks for your comment but I’ve actually provided an update (in red) to that particular part of this guide. To complete authorship you should add a link to your author page in the ‘Contributor to’ section of your Google+ profile.

    The ‘Other profiles’ section does not actually use a rel=”author” tag but actually applies the correct rel=”me” tag to each of these links. I hope this clears things up. Let me know if you have any questions or problems.

  107. AJ Kohn // November 29th 2011

    Andro,

    I’m not sure what you’re asking here. This isn’t about copyright so there’s no ‘protection’ based on authorship. If you have a problem with copyright infringement you can pursue a DMCA takedown request.

  108. Kathy Long // November 29th 2011

    Oops! I typed that wrong. I meant to say those were rel=”me” tags. Thanks for catching that and posting the correction AJ!

    One thing I noticed is that when I had a few rel=”me” tags on MY site, each one pointing to Facebook, Twitter, and Google +, and then ran the Google Webmaster’s rich snippet testing tool, it generated an error. When I removed all but the rel=”me” to Google +, it worked fine. I found that interesting since they put rel=”me” on their Twitter and Facebook links I created. Not sure why it would be a problem but I wasn’t about to argue and decided that sending one very clear signal to Google was best. From there I’ll let Google decide who I really am. :) Thoughts on that?

  109. AJ Kohn // November 29th 2011

    The Rich Snippet Testing Tool (RSTT) is a bit brittle and might be throwing false negatives. I’m trying to confirm this currently but I believe that this is just a RSTT bug and multiple rel=”me” on a page or site shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll update the post when I get some confirmation on the RSTT errors many are encountering. Thanks for the reminder Kathy!

  110. Rajesh // December 01st 2011

    Hi,
    The two way method has been implemented, using the new ‘contributor’ and RSTT is verified. But the profile is not seen in google results? (though some weeks have gone by) Any thoughts ?

  111. AJ Kohn // December 01st 2011

    Thanks for your comment Rajesh.

    Sometimes it takes a while for Google to implement authorship and in other instances they may deem that the content doesn’t warrant authorship. The definition and qualifications around the latter are a mystery, so you can’t be sure whether it’s just taking a while or if Google has decided not to display authorship.

    That’s probably not what you wanted to hear but that’s the state of things right now.

  112. Armin // December 15th 2011

    Thank you. How can I implement this one?! I have a personal website and I want to address to my main domain automatically for all of my posts.

    [Update] You can actually use the root domain as your author page if it a) has a link, using rel=”me” to your Google profile and b) if it is not on a free host domain such as WordPress or Blogger. (Credit: @pedrodias)

  113. Robert // December 24th 2011

    I just did rel=author to my google page and skipped the author page and the testing tools say it worked.

  114. AJ Kohn // December 28th 2011

    Robert,

    There actually are ways to complete the authorship loop without an author page. I find it to be a bit brittle so I like to use the three-link technique I describe. Be careful of the testing tool since it can provide false positives and negatives from time to time. The proof will be when you see your smiling face in Google search results.

  115. Bill // December 31st 2011

    On three of my websites, I implemented the three link method of showing authorship on July 14. Today (December 31) my Google profile is appearing in Google search results! It took 3 1/2 months.

    I’d be interested to hear how long it it took this to work for others.

    Thanks, AJ, for this helpful article.

  116. AJ Kohn // December 31st 2011

    Congratulations Bill and thank you for providing your own personal timeline. I too am interested in learning about how long it takes from implementation to appearance. Three and a half months seems like a long time but perhaps if we get enough folks reporting their numbers we can determine whether there’s a pattern for certain types of content. I’m glad it finally worked, just in time for the New Year.

  117. Bill // December 31st 2011

    I made a mistake in my post above – the wait was actually 5 1/2 months (July 14 – Dec. 31).

  118. jeanviet // December 31st 2011

    Hello Biil, It took like 5 months and half… I’ve seen my picture 3 days ago…. it works on mobile and web search but only for google us, not for google fr where most of the traffic came. here’s a capture made on my mobile : https://p.twimg.com/Ah1H4zLCMAAwoeR.png

  119. AJ Kohn // December 31st 2011

    Interesting Jean-Baptiste. So you saw yours just come through recently as well? I wonder if Google has begun to work through their authorship backlog. It may signal that they’re seeing very positive reactions to authorship and that the restrictions on who receives authorship have been loosened.

    A data set of two is small though, so it’d be great to hear from others to see if authorship suddenly started working for them in the last few days.

  120. Shmul Simchony // January 08th 2012

    Thank you so much!
    I just implemented this and saw results on the snippets tool, I guess it’d take a while for it to show on SERPs.

    Thanks again!

  121. Catherine Pulsifer // January 13th 2012

    Have read so much info on this rel=author and have been totally confused by it all – thank you for this post it is the only one that is updated and makes sense!!! Great job.

    My question has anyone had experience with how long before you start seeing results on the webmaster tools under author stats?

    The rich snippet tool shows authorship verified, but am showing nothing under my author stats on google webmaster tools.

    Thanks for any help on this!

  122. AJ Kohn // January 13th 2012

    Thank you Catherine, I appreciate the feedback and am glad this helped you.

    The question around how long it takes for Author Stats to show up is a good one. I’m not sure but I’m guessing it will be at least a week after you begin to see your Authorship search results. If anyone else here has some experience with this please share it here or contact me directly so I can update the post.

  123. Brandon // January 19th 2012

    Should rel=author be used on company websites as well. For example I have a Google + page set up for our company do I go through all of our pages of content and implement this?

  124. AJ Kohn // January 19th 2012

    Brandon,

    Thanks for your comment. Are you asking if Authorship can be established using a Google+ brand page? That’s not possible under the current Authorship program. But if you have content on a company website that is authored by someone, that would be eligible for Authorship but through that person’s Google+ account and profile, not the Google+ page.

    Hopefully that answers your question.

  125. Damodar // January 21st 2012

    Thanks for great step by step article.

    I followed it and added 3-4 days ago and refreshing search result since then but still my photo isn’t appearing. Hopefully like yours, it would appear within 7 days :)

  126. Catherine Pulsifer // January 21st 2012

    Hi AJ
    Thanks for getting back to me, check author stats again (has been well over a week, probably more like a month) and still nothing showing up. The articles are saying author verified but webmaster tools still reporting nothing.

    Would the reason be because I don’t have any “Extracted rich snippet data from the page”? I only have “Extracted Author/Publisher for this page” and that states “Verified: Authorship markup is verified for this page”

    Thanks again for your help!

  127. AJ Kohn // January 21st 2012

    Catherine,

    The big question is whether or not you see your posts with the Authorship snippet in Google searches. Once you see that, soon after you’ll begin to see the metrics show up in Author Stats.

  128. Catherine Pulsifer // January 21st 2012

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. So far nothing showing up in the searches. Guess I will just have to wait and see what happens. Am concerned as a lot of our work has been copied as the site has been online for over 10 years – we are rewriting and putting on the author tags – which I believe I am doing right but with nothing showing up it makes me question what I am doing.

    Maybe I just need to be patient : )

    Thanks!

  129. Oliver // January 24th 2012

    Thanks for the incredible post.

    I wasn’t aware of the new “Contributor to” section of links on the Google+ About page, so thanks for pointing that out. But my observations and gut feeling both contradict your instructions with regard to completing the authorship loop.

    When I view source on my Google+ About page, I see that each of the links in the “Other profiles” section have the rel=”me” attribute, but that the links in the “Contributor to” section have a rel=”contributor-to” attribute (and not a rel=”me” attribute).

    It seems logical that an About page about me would be considered an ‘other profile’, and that if I want to link to a web site that I contribute to, I’d link to the home page.

    Can you tell us who is recommending that we put the link to our author page in the Contributor to section?

    Thank you.

  130. AJ Kohn // January 24th 2012

    Oliver,

    Interesting find. It looks as if they’ve changed the mark-up there to rel=”contributor-to” instead of rel=”me” which is in line with the idea that Google wants to reduce the confusion around the rel=”me” usage. However, the functionality to close the Authorship loop remains in tact.

    As to who recommends that you put the link to your author page in the Contributor to section? That would be Google as detailed in Option 2 on their Authorship Information page.

    One of the things that is both great and maddening about Authorship is the flexibility Google provides in the verification process. As such, it seems that links from either section qualify. In fact, I never changed mine to the Contributor to section. Use the Rich Snippets Testing Tool as a way to give you confidence that Google ‘sees’ the connection.

  131. Victor // January 26th 2012

    I have done it in five minutes! Thank You.

  132. Joe // January 27th 2012

    Hey AJ,

    Concerning the [UPDATE] in red in the Checking Your Work section, what date was that updated? We have been using the rich snippet testing tool to check our implementation but we are getting an error. We are using the 2 link reciprocal method between the author name on our post and the Google+ profile.

    Just wondering if it’s still buggy on their end?

  133. AJ Kohn // January 27th 2012

    Joe,

    The RSTT is still a bit buggy but is far more stable than it was when I posted that update. One of the reasons I recommend the 3 link method is because it seems more solid. That’s just my own experience though. If you point me at a URL (here or via email) I’m happy to give it a quick review.

  134. Rosemary Breen|PsychicRevolution // January 27th 2012

    Sorry to be so silly but I dont understand the Blog Post part. I have wordpress and have installed Thesis.

    When I look under appearance>editor I dont see single post file.

    Also I dont get the Author Page to Google Profile bit either. I have both but dont understand how specifically to link from former to latter.

    Cheers

    Rosemary

  135. shellkeane // February 09th 2012

    Hi AJ – I’ve run into an error that I’ve not been able to fix in some months.

    hcard
    Warning: At least one field must be set for Hcard.
    Warning: Missing required field “name (fn)”.

    Otherwise, my authorship is verified on my blog.

    Any ideas?

  136. AJ Kohn // February 09th 2012

    Don’t worry about the hCard errors Shellkeane. That’s just an incomplete microformat baked into your WordPress theme. It won’t interfere with Authorship and is just extra ‘rich snippet’ data that Google has extracted from the page.

  137. Jon // February 17th 2012

    Thanks for the great tutorial, AJ!

    Trying to figure out if I did something wrong or if Google just hasn’t crawled my pages for the changes yet. Here’s what I did:

    1) Regular article page with author link at the bottom: http://www.jonloomer.com/2012/02/17/shedding-light-on-social-media-feb-18-23/

    If you view source, you’ll see the “rel=”author” code.

    2) Author page with a link to my Google+ page:

    http://www.jonloomer.com/author/jonloomer/

    If you view source, you’ll see the rel=”me” code.

    3) My Google+ profile About page with a link back to my Author page on my site:

    https://plus.google.com/108381605530064078847/about

    Now, if you view source there, you will not see rel=”me”. Is there something I should do to make that happen on G+?

    I’ve used the Rich Snippets Testing Tool and I also checked my Author Stats in the Google Webmaster Tools. Either Google just hasn’t found it yet, or I’m doing something wrong.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Jon

  138. Russell Jamieson // February 19th 2012

    AJ, Thanks for this great article. I have just built a free WordPress plugin called AuthorSure on using the 3 way linking technique and had included user instructions to set up the reciprocal links in the “Contributor To” section.

    Then I thought that “Other Profiles” was a more logical home for these links (as the links do point at author profiles) and found several articles that indicated the reciprocal links should be placed in that section.

    This post has brought the clarity I require and fortunately my diagram of the Google Authorship linking structure remains correct – http://www.authorsure.com/google-authorship-markup

  139. AJ Kohn // February 19th 2012

    Russell,

    I’m glad there are people like you working on other ways to help people implement authorship. To my knowledge authorship can be completed by placing the link in either the ‘Other Profiles’ or ‘Contributor to’ section. For a very long time I had mine only in ‘Other Profiles’ and it worked fine.

    Google is trying to be very flexible in an attempt to make it easier for people to participate. That’s good but it can also sometimes be confusing since there are so many ‘correct’ ways.

  140. Ridvan // February 25th 2012

    Thanks alot AJ!! Your article help me to implement this stuff so easily. I was so confuse when i heard about Author. After reading your article, it is so easy to do implementation.

    Today i submitted form for Author, Do you know, How long it will take for approval? Thanks again.

  141. Catherine Pulsifer // February 26th 2012

    HI AJ
    Just a follow up from my post back in January – finally it is all working!! Yeah! But it took a good month from the time I start using rel=author before my photo started showing up in the serps. So I guess the saying, “Persistence prevails when all else fails” is true!

    Again thanks for your help!

  142. Jeremy Myers // February 26th 2012

    Catherine Pulsifer,

    How much traffic do you have?

    I have had this implemented for several months, and still no picture in the SERPs.

  143. Russell // February 27th 2012

    Hi Catherine,

    The rollout of rel=author seems very patchy and seems to depend on your niche, your authority in that niche, the amount of activity on the site in terms of posts and comments, the number of Google Circles you are in, andyour Klout.

    Using my AuthorSure plugin I had my face in the search results in 3 weeks on a couple of sites, but I am still waiting on 2 other sites. I think one of the main influencing factors is the rate of posting on the site. So it you are posting regularly or are getting and responding to comments then the site is more likely to be verified for authorship. Have you double checked recently that your site is still valid in the Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool ?

  144. Andy Walpole // February 29th 2012

    The information in this blog post is out of date now.

    It’s a lot easier to link your blog post to your Google profile

    Go to this Google page and follow the instructions exactly: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986

    Make sure that you use the Google to tool to generate your markup here: https://developers.google.com/+/plugins/badge/personal-config

    You will then have a HTML and pic snippet. Place them in the head and body respectively.

    That’s it.

  145. AJ Kohn // March 01st 2012

    Thanks for your comment Andy. However, I actually reference this other technique in the 12/15/2011 update. In fact, not only can you use the Google+ badge to verify authorship, you can also use your name and email address.

    Google provides many ways to verify Authorship, so you should pick the one with which you’re most comfortable. That said, I have found that the Three Link Monte method is more stable and provides more flexibility for multi-author sites and blogs.

  146. Luca Orlandini // March 01st 2012

    Hi AJ thank you for your article… it’s very clear but I have a big problem… in my google+ profile i can add 3 types of link (suggested – contributor – other profiles) but I can’t find the checkbox.

    Can you help me? There is another way to link back to my site?

    Go to your Google profile and select edit profile. Then click on the Links section and click Add custom link (it’s at the bottom). Then enter your label and author page URL and make sure you check the ‘This page is specifically about me.’ box. That will put a rel=”me” on this link.

  147. Pam // March 20th 2012

    This was great information! :)

    I too found this to be a pain in the @$$! Even three simple steps can seemingly be a nightmare. So I am glad you stepped up to help others needing to learn this information, cause you won’t find me posting on this one. Lol

    Although my image now shows up in the SERPS for my new posts and 1 older one, that is it. It has only been about a week since I implemented this, so I figured maybe it would take awhile for them to “re-crawl” everything; but it hasn’t happened.

    Not sure if you know the answer or not, just found it really odd that it acknowledges only one post that was written prior to doing this. Oh well, maybe I will tweak the text a bit in my older posts and see if that don’t get their attention. :)

    Pam

  148. James // March 21st 2012

    This has been extremely difficult but you have offered some great advice here and I finally got it done. Thanks a million!

  149. Ali // March 23rd 2012

    I’ve read countless other articles on this problem but still getting this error.

    “Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=”me” link to a Google Profile.”

    I don’t know how to put an rel=”me” on my author page. When I open the Single Post.php, there is nothing but just this function call:

    “setup_pagelines_template();”

    I tried putting rel=”me” and rel=”author” on the link to Google+ in my Bio Info under my Profile, but it didn’t work.

    Would appreciate your kind help.

    Many thanks.

  150. Ali // March 23rd 2012

    Ok, then I finally managed to do it somehow. Now It’s varified:

    “Verified: Authorship markup is verified for this page”

    but there is another error:

    Error: Author profile page redirects to another URL

    I don’t know if it will work or not. Any ideas please?

  151. AJ Kohn // March 23rd 2012

    Ali,

    In this instance the error is occurring because of a redirect from /about to /about/. That trailing slash matters. You can resolve this error by changing the link in your Google+ profile to the /about/ version.

  152. Ali // March 23rd 2012

    Thanks a ton for the kind response AJ. I have changed it to “about/” in G+, but still the same error, will it take some time to get fixed?

    And just out of curiosity, why have you given the link to your “about” twice in your G+?

    Many thanks,
    Ali.

  153. AJ Kohn // March 25th 2012

    Ali,

    I’m finding it difficult to figure out which method you’re trying to use to verify authorship. The link on your posts goes to /author/ali/ but you seem to be verifying authorship via /about/.

    The two links in my own profile are there because I verified authorship before a Contributor to section was available. I could probably get rid of the link under Other profiles but don’t see a need to upset the applecart.

  154. ali // March 25th 2012

    Yeah it’s weird. Actually, author/ali/ was the default author page but I couldn’t figure out how to verify it… so I added “author” (Link Relationship XFN) attribute to /about/ page… maybe that’s causing the whole issue? Don’t know how to fix it :( any ideas?

    Hmmm, got your point about the two links. :)

    Many thanks,
    Ali.

  155. cha // March 30th 2012

    Can you put rel author on a subdomain?

  156. matt // April 06th 2012

    I have just verified my authorship on the rich snippet tool but it only works for the

    http://www.domain.com

    Google still sees

    domain.com as a different website.

    Either one leads to my website. Which should I set up the connections for? http://www.domain.com or domain.com?

  157. AJ Kohn // April 06th 2012

    Matt,

    In the short-term I’d just add both the www and non-www versions to your Contributor to section. But the question is whether you have a 301 redirect in place so that there’s only one canonical version of your site.

  158. Liz // April 11th 2012

    AJ said “Let me know if it works for you and if you’ve found other ways to implement it on WordPress or other platforms like Blogger.”

    I don’t use Blogger or other platforms, but I first implemented it on WordPress simply by linking each post back to my Google+ profile. Now I am using the AuthorSure WordPress plugin on my client sites. It has options to set up the author page with various social media icons and even a live Skype button optionally. Also it has an option to include or exclude pages.

  159. WirelessBB // April 17th 2012

    Hello AJ,

    I verified my email address, but I still don’t see my Google Plus profile picture in search results. Is it because my email is username@gmail.com?

    Or am linking it to my blogspot.com blogger page? Any idea, why?

  160. AJ Kohn // April 22nd 2012

    Yes cha, you can use rel=author on a subdomain.

  161. AJ Kohn // April 22nd 2012

    WirelessBB,

    I’ll need a little more information to go on to help you diagnose what’s going on. What site or blog are you trying to claim authorship?

  162. Terry Simmonds // April 29th 2012

    AJ,

    Sorry, going a bit off topic here, but do you know if there is any way of telling Google not to display our author images with specific posts or pages?

    I use the rel=author tag in the author link of my WordPress blog posts which means my image appears for every post I make.

    Occasionally I may want to make a post and not have my author photo alongside it.
    Do you know if there is a tag we can use on specific posts or pages which will overirule our rel=author tag on that page?

    If not, do you know how this could be requested of Google?

  163. Russell Jamieson // April 30th 2012

    @Terry, this depends a bit on your WordPress Theme and if it automatically adds in links with rel=”author”.

    If your WordPress theme does not automatically add rel=”author” links then you can use the AuthorSure plugin which allows to switch on or off rel=”author” on individual posts and pages if you use the “AuthorBox” method. For example, you can set it up to show the AuthorBox on all posts but not on pages by default and then just override the exceptions by clicking a checkbox – see http://www.authorsure.com/604/how-to-disable-the-author-box-on-all-pages.

    AuthorSure also has support for multiple authors and for archive pages where you can choose which author’s face you want to appear in the SERPs for each archive (category/tag)

  164. Terry Simmonds // May 01st 2012

    @russell

    Thanks, I tend to avoid plug ins as much as possible though.

    With my single author blogs I have a static author page on just one site and then hardcode a rel=author me link pointing to it from the contentsingle.php file of my other blogs

    I also have a rel=author tag to my Google+ profile hardcoded in to header.php, so ideally need to be able to overwrite the effect of rel=author rather than try to control what pages I have it on.
    Does that make sense?

    I’ll have a look at AuthorBox though and set it up on another site.

  165. Russell Jamieson // May 01st 2012

    @Terry , you could change header.php to check for a custom field, disable_author_rel, which you can set on the pages or posts where you do not want the link – something like…

    ` if (!get_post_meta($post->ID,”disable_author_rel”)) add link to Google`

    Tho’ showing your face in a Author Box just above the comment section using a high quality plugin like AuthorSure is a great way to encourage more comments! ;-)

  166. Terry Simmonds // May 01st 2012

    Thanks again Russell, all getting a bit complicated for me now though :(

    I dare say there are loads of different ways we can stop the rel=author link showing on our pages, it would be far easier though if Google provided a way of overwriting it though when it is there.

    i.e.
    rather than us having to stop rel=author links appear in our code
    we can just add a tag or bit of code that tells Google to ignore it for that page.

    This would also help on static HTML pages where we use rel=author links.

    Interestingly the rich snippets tool has stopped showing author images again, maybe they are working on something as we speak :)

    Haven’t had time to look at AuthorSure yet (sorry called it AuthorBox in previous comment) will try and have a look in next couple of days.

  167. Social Crunching // May 04th 2012

    Strange as it, although the rich snippet tool replies in affirmative about our verification, but we still don’t see the authorship on our searches in Google. The changes were done around a month back.
    Any ideas?

  168. NaturalCureGuy // May 04th 2012

    Hi AJ,

    Directions are great, BUT… your code looks nothing like my WordPress single post code. I don’t have a clue where to insert rel_”author” and I don’t even have the author in my single post code presently.
    What can I do here?

    Thanks much!
    S

  169. Liz // May 05th 2012

    Hi S – The instructions here are good – but – if you don’t like doing code, use our free plugin. It’s worth a try – we checked it for most popular themes and we’ll give you a hand if you get stuck. http://www.authorsure.com regards Liz

  170. Social Crunching // May 05th 2012

    Hey Liz,
    Do you have an equivalent Blogger plugin that we could use for our site? We are on Blogger currently.

  171. Liz // May 05th 2012

    Sorry Social Crunching – it’s only for WordPress. Liz

  172. Sherief Rageb // May 14th 2012

    Great post! Thank you a lot!

    Is there a google-search to find all posts from a specific author? Something like:

    author:Matt Cutts

    This should display all posts existing in the internet that include “rel=author” linking to Matt Cutts’ Page.

  173. SEO-manager // May 30th 2012

    Thank you for your post!
    Does it work with google+ brand-page or company page?
    The problem I find is that I cannot add more than one URL to profile page of brand or company, but one brand or company may have several domains like name.com, name.org name.es etc.

  174. searchengineman // June 01st 2012

    Thanks for all the great advice on WordPress.
    I’m banging my head trying to verify my twitter account with my Google+ Account via the snippet tool. Does anyone know of an easy way to do this short of becoming a celebrity “with a verified account!”.

    PS: I put my request on Quora I’m sure there are tons of Twitter Users who would like Authorship for Tweets. http://www.quora.com/Twitter-Inc-company/Twitter-rel-author-for-tweets-rel-me-for-twitter-profiles

    Searchengineman

  175. Matt Greener // June 12th 2012

    Thanks for sharing this. I used to use this method of integration, but always found it was too time consuming. Wanted to let you know of a new way to integrate which is much easier: http://mattgreener.com/making-authorship-simple-how-to-setup-relauthor-in-3-easy-steps

  176. Liz // June 12th 2012

    If you have a simple site or maybe a non-WordPress site that is OK. But you will end up claiming authorship on your contact page, your terms and conditions pages etc.

    If a site is multi-author it won’t work and if you want to set up rel=publisher on your home page and on say category pages (which may work one day to show Google+ page logos), then it’s not effective at all. The AuthorSure plugin (http://www.authorsure.com) is easy to use and does all of the above if your site is a WordPress site.

  177. AJ Kohn // June 12th 2012

    Matt,

    The method can be used but is somewhat limited and is best used for single author sites. And it’s still recommended that you apply rel=author links in conjunction with this method. If not, they you really have to ensure that you’re byline can be parsed.

    There are a number of ways to verify authorship. I still prefer the three-link method here because it is the most stable implementation. Is it time consuming? Maybe. Am I absolutely 100% certain my authorship will remain in tact? You bet.

    And if you’re looking to save time, try my Rich Snippets Testing Tool bookmarklet so you don’t have to manually enter and test pages.

  178. AJ Kohn // June 12th 2012

    Thanks for jumping in Liz. You bring up valid points. I think AuthorSure is a nice plugin and it probably helps a few more folks to get authorship implemented. I hope more take a bit more time to do this for themselves though, since it’s really not that hard and doing it yourself can be instructive.

  179. Liz // June 12th 2012

    I agree – it isn’t that hard at all, but many people find it so.

    On a similar note, I’m a great believer in not using the Visual Editor – learning a bit of HTML can remove the scales from your eyes – but that generally goes down like a lead balloon …

  180. AJ Kohn // June 12th 2012

    Yes Liz, I wish more would take a bit of time to learn the HTML and even just some very basic PHP. It does usually go over like a lead balloon but it can really help you and wind up saving you time and money too.

  181. Woody Hayday // June 29th 2012

    Very helpful guide, cheers – have implemented this now and will watch my CTR’s! :) Thanks AJ

  182. Daniel Expósito Romero // July 01st 2012

    Hi Aj!

    First of all, thanks for the post, great one!

    I’ve been trying to set up authorship but with G+ Pages, as in (http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1708844)

    But nothing yet, even though I get:
    —-
    publisher
    linked Google+ page = https://plus.google.com/116478712962846233753
    Verified: Publisher markup is verified for this page. Learn more.
    —-

    I can’t see the ‘pic’ of the page on the search engine. Is it because it’s a page? Should I link it to my profile instead?

    The only problem is that I have several pages and didn’t want to link them all to my profile.

    Thanks in advance,

    Dan

  183. Bethanny Parker // July 07th 2012

    It sounds like this should be fairly easy to implement on a new blog, but I have several sites that have posts written by different authors under the admin username. I have published a lot of guest posts, and unless the person becomes a regular contributor, I just publish them from the admin account. So I guess someday I’ll have to go back through and change the author on all of those old guest posts so I can implement rel=author without accidentally claiming ownership of a bunch of posts I didn’t write.

  184. 17 // August 04th 2012

    Is it possible to do this with a WordPress hosts blog? Like a blog that ends in .wordpress.com

  185. salvatore capolupo // August 30th 2012

    There is a simple way for activating authorship for PDF documents indexed by Google?

  186. Michael Ehline // August 31st 2012

    Thanks for sharing at the hangout today

  187. Bas // November 02nd 2012

    Hi AJ,

    Great article! I managed to get both methods working (according to the RSST), however when I click on the anchor tag I get an “Oops! Google could not find..” message. It does not direct me to the G+ profile and in the other case it does not direct me to the author page.
    Any ideas? Thanks a lot.

  188. AJ Kohn // November 09th 2012

    Bas,

    I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to but I’m happy to try and help you debug if you provide a bit more detail.

  189. Rakesh // November 10th 2012

    For me everything is verified but shows this error

    Extracted structured data
    hcard
    photo:
    http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kSEmd0y9X04/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAEs/13peLPrgEbM/s512-c/photo.jpg
    Warning: This information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because it seems to describe an organization. Google does not currently display organization information in rich snippets
    Warning: Missing required field “name (fn)”.

  190. Katherine Stott // November 22nd 2012

    This is such a great article and still receiving traction after over a year. I’ll be following the steps this weekend and hopefully seeing my mug on Google soon :)

  191. AJ Kohn // November 25th 2012

    Thanks Katherine and let me know if you have any problems getting Authorship to work.

  192. Christopher Rollyson | csrollyson // December 13th 2012

    @AJ thanks for a most useful and profound post. You bridge the gap between the patent language and explain it in plain language, so kudos! I have watched with interest and some cynicism all the blabbing about “Facebook v. Google” because no one “owns social” as various platform religious warriors claim. Here, you have give us time-lapse photography for how Google is incorporating social data into search results, as they’ve learned from social networks. Awesome post!

  193. DUI Lawyer in Sydney // January 16th 2013

    You simply deserve an AWARD or something for this fantastic post!!

  194. Oliver // January 31st 2013

    Can you place the author tag on the same page that you may be using product tags?

  195. Nathan Smith // February 04th 2013

    I’ve gotten this to work on my blog posts however it does not appear on my website “pages” when searching certain keywords.

    Any tips on how to make it work for website pages. I’m using wordpress and have the Yoast seo plugin

  196. Nikhil Phirke // February 22nd 2013

    This is super great. Thanks for the tip and good explanation.

  197. John // March 05th 2013

    Useful, Thank you!

  198. AJ Kohn // March 06th 2013

    It depends Nathan. Sometimes those pages might not qualify for Authorship. In addition if there’s no byline or block at the bottom that shows that it’s a piece of authored content then it may not show up. Have you run the pages through the structured data testing tool using my bookmarklet?

  199. Paul // March 15th 2013

    Can you have an author tag that links to a Google + company page rather than a personal Google + profile?

  200. AJ Kohn // March 15th 2013

    Paul,

    No. Authorship has to be attached to a personal G+ profile. You can use the Publisher mark-up (rel=publisher) for your G+ company page.

  201. Leah Ketring // April 05th 2013

    Hi, thanks for this article. I’ve been looking at setting up ownership for our blogs and articles, and following your advice i have it working for those instances where there is a single author associated with a piece of content.

    However, most of our content is associated with multiple authors.. see, http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-ibm-j1-2/index.html

    Is there any guidance for allowing two authors to claim joint ownership for the same piece of content ?

  202. Josh Moxon // April 17th 2013

    Hey AJ,

    Looking at Google’s documentation now there is no mention of rel=”me” and they are now using url parameters in their example instead of as an attribute in the tag.

    I saw this on their support forums and thought I would ask you as you seem to still be using what is outlined here and wondered if you had seen any problems with doing it this way.

    Cheers!

  203. AJ Kohn // April 25th 2013

    Josh,

    Google is trying to make it easier for people to implement and believe that the rel=”me” mark-up is confusing. And … it is really. But it’s still supported and, from my perspective, still the most stable of implementations.

  204. AJ Kohn // April 25th 2013

    Leah,

    Sorry for the delay. I’m fishing this out of the queue. At this point there’s no way to display joint ownership of content.

    However, I’d put the proper Authorship mark-up for both on that page. It’s likely that one will get the presentation credit over the other (whoever is first on the page) but in the background Google will understand that both are authors of that content. At some point I think that will matter in the scheme of things.

  205. Graham Stalley // May 06th 2013

    Google seems to have changed how to edit the “Contributor to” Links for “rel=author”
    Go to Google+;
    Click on “Profile” in Left Navigator
    Click on “About” under your header image
    Scroll to “Links” in Right column
    Click Edit at bottom of Links cell
    Add Custom Link in “Contributor to” (or edit) and save
    (This worked 05/06/13)

  206. M.L. // May 27th 2013

    I would like to add this feature for my actual website. I do have a blog that I just started, but it is only an “About Us” type of page for my website. I thought it would help my SEO if I produced a blog for my site.

    How do I implement this feature for my very new website.

    Thanks,
    M.L.

  207. M.L. // May 27th 2013

    Hey AJ,
    I figured out how to implement this for my website, well kind of. I put the code in check with the tool and Google showed me what it would look like if they allow it to happen, which looked ok. I went with the website picture not a personal picture. My only problem is that now I have a large white line at the top of my website with the word Google in it. I don’t like that at all. I already have the G+ button at the top.

    To avoid looking like I am trying to get backlinks, can I email you my website URL so you can take a look and see what I am talking about. You may be able to tell me how to edit the HTML code to remove the line. I was thinking, maybe remove the word Google that I put in the code. I will send you a copy of the code when I send my URL, I may have wrote it wrong.

    Thanks for your help,
    M.L.

  208. Matthew Ferguson // June 22nd 2013

    Hi – good tips however tried to do a 2 step authorship and still does not work.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  209. Jeff // July 16th 2013

    AJ, I use the 2 step authorship for my site and it works, and tested good in the tool. My question is, why do we need this complex 3 way linking method like you mentioned in your article? Google does not even mention it anymore on “Author information in search results” page.

    On all my blog entries I have the rel=author link to my Google+ page, then from my Google+ profile, I have a “contributor to” link that points back to my main home page on my web site.

    My thumbnail shows up in Google results, so it must be working. Is there some reason why it MUST link from Google+ to your author page on your webs site?

    Also, the testing tool shows “Email verification has successfully established authorship for this webpage.”

  210. Alisa // July 17th 2013

    How do you recommend implementing the rel=author feature for blogs featuring anonymous authors using the generic Staff Reporter. I did run the pages through the structured testing tool and it indicates the authorship is working, rel=author markup is successfully established and publisher markup is verified. Another issue may be that the About Us section is featured on a subdomain for the main E-Commerce site. Would it be best to create another About us page on the same domain as the blog with a logo? How should we make reference to staff reporter?

    gratitude*infinity

  211. Shruti // August 13th 2013

    Are there other factors that Google looks at when they determine to use the photo or not? For example, all my posts are correctly marked, and the rich snippet test confirms this and displays my photo. However, my photo never shows up in search results. It’s a clean headshot, but I am wearing sunglasses so maybe that’s why it’s not displaying?

  212. saumen // September 08th 2013

    please anyone help me!! I try everything for my blog but i can’t verify authorship. whats the problem??please.

  213. Akash // October 17th 2013

    Great info, I implemented and worked fine with one of my site. My question is however is it allowed to trick the user by using username as a brand name and putting the similar brand picture? It will increase the CTR?

  214. Vishnu // March 22nd 2014

    Very well described and helpful post.
    Implemented this one personally and it really worked for my blog.
    But I wonder although my google authorship has been verified and it is also showing in google structured data but my image is not appear in google’s search engine although my name appears but image doesn’t.
    Can you explain why is it so?

  215. AJ Kohn // March 24th 2014

    Vishnu,

    Google has been limiting the number of individuals who get the full authorship treatment. The criteria for this isn’t clear, but it is generally linked to page type, query dependency or site authority.

  216. Waldo Pulanco // March 26th 2014

    I have a problem to my authorship, when I log on to my gmail account and search my blog url to Google search, my authorship is working and display my picture on Google search result. But when I log out to my gmail account and search my blog url again, it is not working and no authorship or picture display on Google search result. if you have an idea how to solve this please help me!!

    my blog: http://qneblog.blogspot.com
    google+: https://plus.google.com/109199032921926475187

    thanks in advance!!
    Regards
    Waldo

  217. Paul Nonnis // March 28th 2014

    Hello Visitors abd Bloggers,

    I have exactly the same issue Waldo Pulanco above posted on March 26 2014. Can anyone shed further light on this?

    Many thanks

    Paul from Melbourne, Australia

  218. Waldo Pulanco // March 28th 2014

    Hello Paul: I was Posted in Google forum but until now no response. here is my post, watch it if anyone can help me in this forum: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/webmasters/webmaster-tools/p2fQlbH8rvE

    thanks!!

    Waldo Pulanco

  219. Paul Nonnis // March 28th 2014

    Hi Waldo,
    Ok, got it. I also posted a reply that I have the same issue as you. I talke it that like me, you have made your Google+ profile -and- photo public. We’ll se what happens and if nothing does I’ll see if I can report this to Google.
    Rgds. Paul

  220. Waldo Pulanco // March 28th 2014

    Thank you Sir Paul! yes my google+ profile and photo was public.
    thank you again sir Paul!!

  221. David Slepkow // April 03rd 2014

    Yhank you for clearly explaining how to implement google authorship! It is difficult to find such easy to comprehend info about authorship on the web!

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