How to implement rel=author

As we often say in the italian version of this blog, authorship markup will be soon a very important factor for search engine strategies and will impact the CTR of organic search results.

The new markup allow verified authors to check the impact of their own articles through webmaster tools thanks to the face snippet in serp.

miti seo autore

Even if there is lots of official documentation related to rel=author, and google published an explanatory video, it seems not so clear for the most how to implement correctly this markup.

Those difficulties probably come from the various validation options of choice, that usually make the decision harder complicating and confusing the decision by increasing the cognitive effort to choose the way forward.

Despite this and despite the video guide from official source in this post I will explain the various implementation methods, but mainly my favorite and probably the one I recommend to the owner of a multi author blog or website.

The implementaton and verification process

To ensure a correct implementation of authorship markup we need to complete 3 necessary + 1 optional step, but certainly useful inclusion request:

  • 1 link from your article, post or page to your author page within your site,
  • 1 link from your site author page to your Google+ Profile page using rel = me,
  • 1 link from your Google+ Profile page to your site author page using rel = me.

After doing this and verified by rich snippets testing tool you can send the authorship request through this form.

Webmaster Tools - Rich Snippets Testing Tool

After this short summary of the implementation process let’s explain the single steps details.

Implementation in the website article page

As described above the first step is to create an author page inside your personal website or personal or multi author one (in this case one page for each author).

After creating your author page (that can be a personal profile page) let’s work inside our pages or single articles inserting the authorship markup using rel=author.

rel=author implementation in the articles page

As you can see from the image we are linking the website author page from each article, in this case written by me, but this can happen for each author.

NB: The url choice should not fool you because in this blog we simply choose to use the author.php page of wordpress, but the url can be of any kind or even the home. The important thing is to respect the technical requirements implementation of various HTML tags.

If you use wordpress you can create an author-box.php file inside your theme folder and include it in your posts, as we do here and for simplicity I include the code (that you can use) in the following image (even if the code include other unnecessary options in the code is implemented the rel=author to your webiste author page).

author box wordpress
Code snippet to make an author box with rel=author in wordpress

The author page

The author page is the intermediary page between your articles and the Google+ profile and so the one that assign the authorship of your contents and let Google understand.

The step is very easy and you should simply include a link with rel=me tag to you Google+ profile in the form of[YOUR-GOOGLE-PLUS-ID] as follow in my case:

To let you understand I attach a snippet of code to show how you should use the rel=me in your link to the G+ profile.

Link with rel=me to google+ profile

No more words here they will only make the step harder and confusing.

The google+ profile

The 3rd and last step is to verify that your website using the rel=author is truly referred to you, and to do so you must include a link from your g+ profile to your website author page using rel=me.

Inside your google profile editing page there is a section “Contributor to” to use in the case of multi author sites to confirm  the authorship markup, even if the use of “Other Profile” is still valid.

contributore di

As you can see from the image above going in editing mode and clicking the right bar in the box ‘Contributor to’ you will be able to add your verified authors links.

contributor of seo

Test that everything is fine

After completing the 3 step as early explained you should verify that everything is technically correct and to check it you can simply use the rich snippet testing tool.

Insert in the input box an article url marked up with authorship (rel=author) and click preview; if the result will be as follow like the in the red box it means is correct.

Verified author - Rich Snippets Testing Tool

Now even if optional, as John Mueller confirmed, you can fill the authorship form linked above.

It’s only matter of time now

Your implementation is done and the only thing you can do is to monitor your articles or posts until you will see your face (during this waiting time take a nice picture of you).

To monitor in an easy way your articles I recommend using Google Webmaster Tools, in the ‘Labs’ -> ‘Author stats’ section, as in the image below.

Authorship serp italia
Author stats in Webmaster Tools

Other way of verifing your authorship

As early explained there are other ways of verifing you authorship markup, even if I recommend using this post procedure, and they are:

  • using a verified mail with @domain-name-where-you-are-author.extension inside your Google+ profile
  • using ?rel=author in the link to your g+ profile directly in the articles.

To find more informations google has created this page in inside search explaining the author markup.

See you soon with your beautiful face in SERP.

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