The SERPs are continuously evolving and there are now more and more ways to make your results stand out from the crowd. One of these methods is the rel=”author” tag.
What is Rel=”Author”?
Rel=”author” and rel=”me” are types of Google authorship markup that can be used to enhance your results in the search results by adding your face and name to your posts.
Not only does this help with building the online reputation of your site and writers, it also makes your results appear more clickable and has been proven in many cases to improve click through rates by large amounts.
How Rel=”Author” Works
Author markups allows the writer of a page/post to link the page to their Google+ profile page. The Google+ page then has to link back to the website page so that there is a two way verification. This prevents people from linking to someone else’s profile and claiming they wrote the content.
Google will then know who the author is and this will enable the author’s content to show up in search listings with their Google+ profile image, and their name which will link back to their Google profile.
A recent study has shown that only 1 in every 5 Google searches shows author markup in the top 100 results so there is a great opportunity to get your blog ahead of the competition.
How to Implement Rel=”Author”
For a site with multiple authors, you first need to ensure that each author has an author page. This could be a bio page or just a page that shows the posts by this author, or a mixture of the two.
You must then link from each post to the relevant author pages with the rel=”author” tag included.
Each author page is then linked to the author’s Google+ profile page using the rel=”me” tag.
<a rel=”me” href=https://plus.google.com/u/0/#####################>Joe Bloggs on Google+</a>
As explained earlier in this document, you need to verify that this is in fact your Google+ account. To do this you need to log in to your Google+ account and click on the ‘Edit’ button.
You must then add your site to the ‘Contributor to’ option.
All done?… Test!
You can test to make sure this has been setup correctly by using the “Rich Snippets Testing Tool”. Enter the URL of a relevant post and your photo should now be displaying in the ‘Google search preview’.
Please note that it may be some time (maybe even weeks) before this kicks in within the live search results, so the sooner this is implemented, the better.