Why you Should Use the Rel Authorship Markup Tag

Google has created a way to link content written by you to your face and name. It is called authorship markup, and adding that markup to your website means that search results that pull an article written by you, show the world that you are the author.

Below is an example of a search result that uses the authorship markup.


How the Authorship Markup Works

In order to link your name (and face) to your online content, a connection needs to be made between your content, your website “author” page and Google.

  1. Create a link between your posts and your About page.
  2. Create a link between your About (author) page and your Google+ profile.
  3. Create a link back between your Google+ profile and your About (author) page.
You will also need a good-quality photo on your Google+ profile.

How to Create the Needed Connections

Adding either a direct link to your Google+ profile or using the official Google+ profile button on your About page can build that connection. Also, be sure a “Recommend Link” on your Google+ profile links back to your About page (vs your home page).


It’s also important that links contain an extra piece of rel=me code. Below is the html of the Google+ button that is on my personal blog’s author page:


If you use WordPress, you have the challenge of WordPress stripping out rel tags from links. This post from Yoast shows the needed code, if you are a coder. Also, there are a couple plugins that have been created to make this process easier. I used the “Allow Rel= and HTML in Author Bios” plugin by John Pozadzides. A different plugin called “Rel=Author Plugin for WordPress” by Robert Dempsey creates a visible author box at the bottom of each post.

Because I opted for the plugin that does not include an author box, I needed to show that I was the author of my content. The Yoast post linked above also discusses ways to do that. It’s a bit difficult to provide a definitive answer that will work for everyone as each WordPress theme is different. To give you an idea of how I did so with Thesis:

  1. I changed my settings to display my name on each post.
  2. I navigated to Users –> Profile and added this to my bio field.

Use the Rich Snippets Tool to Check your Authorship Markup

A great way to be sure you’ve formed all the correct links is to use Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool. This is also a great way to get an idea of how your authorship markup will look on Google search results.

Enter your URL to check. If you see the green “Verified” line, you know you are set.

rich-snippets-testing-toolGoogle does note that there is no guarantee your markup will be displayed on all search results tied to you. But even if you aren’t regularly seeing your face, receiving confirmation through this testing tool ensures you have built the links necessary to show that you are the author of your content.

For more information on Google’s Authorship, visit their page.

Have you marked up your website’s content to prove authorship? Have you noticed others’ face in your Google search results?

1 Comment

  1. Jessica

    This is great, had no idea how to do this.



  1. Social Seo: Search Just Got Personal | Cirquedumot.com - [...] Simple Tutorial from Eli Rose [...]

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