Help Google Understand Who You Are: rel=author

rel author


In June 2011 Google implemented the “rel=author” markup in search results, a method for tying content to the person who created it. Because of many manipulative methods that some people used to improve their rankings, Google has decided they need to establish the real person behind the content (and links) in order to verify that links come from trust-worthy sources.

Great for Google, but what does this do for you? A lot, actually, providing you’re a content author and not a spammer.

Credibility. Everything you wrote, and where you’ve included your authormarkup, is tied to your Google+ profile, so no one else can claim your content. To verify yourself as the author in the eyes of Google, you need a Google+ account, which requires a picture of a real person (instead of company logo or some cartoon picture). It’s wise to fill in as much details as you can: you physical address, phone number, bio…, because people who like what you wrote can learn more about you and contact you more easily. And the more articles you publish, the more social buzz you’ll get, which sends stronger signals to Google about your authority in the field.

Visibility. If you’ve published an article about German Shepherd puppies, and someone else has published a similar article on a website of similar authority, and all other things being equal, Google will give more esteem in their rankings to the article written by the one they recognize as credible content author. Also, people searching for “German Shepherd puppies” see your picture and the author byline next to the article listed in the results, and tend to attribute more credibility to the content written by a real person when compared to what they perceive as anonymous content – which, naturally, leads to higher click through rate. How to implement “rel=author” markup First you need to set up a Google+ profile with your photo and other details. The next step is to verify your email address on Google+ – not your gmail address, but the one with the same domain as your blog, ex.

Google will send an email to that address, and you should click on the link inside the email. In your Google+ profile, under “Edit profile” where you have filled your contact and other info, find “Contributor to”, and enter a link to the content on your website. You can link either to the bio page if your blog has one, or directly to a post you wrote. Final step is to tell Google that the owner of the domain and the profile on Google+ are the same person. In the bio page on your site link back to your Google profile including the “rel=author” markup. It will look like this: Google. The rel=author is the important part here.

To check if you have done it right, use this tool – just paste the URLs of some of your posts in the box. You should know that it takes time before your picture starts showing in the search results, sometimes even a couple of weeks, so be patient. Guest posting It’s good to have your own website linked to your Google profile, but it’s even better to claim all of your content out there, so when you guest post on other blogs, along with your text and bio, send the website owner the proper HTML, the same as above (which contains the “rel=author”), and ad that website to your “Contributor to” links on Google+.


Benefits of claiming your authorship on Google are numerous: it will prevent someone from stealing your content, enhance your authority in Google’s eyes, and provide you with more visits to your blog. So, even though it may seem a bit confusing to set it up, give it a go, it’s the future of ranking in search results.

As a SEO expert, Jeff knows how every detail such is Google+ is important for online business. Curently, he is also associated with as their consultant for search engine optimization and social media marketing.