Google Now Supports “Author” Tag

Google announced support of the authorship markup, enabling content sites to help identify their authors on the site and across the web.

The markup links up authors to content, for example, this content would be linked up to my name and can be used to find all the stories I’ve written here and on my other sites.

It uses the rel attribute, so all you need to do is add the rel=”author” to your author’s hyperlink on the article page. For example:

Written by <a rel=”author” href=”../authors/mattcutts”>Matt Cutts</a>.

As Google explained, this tells search engines: “The linked person is an author of this linking page.” The rel=”author” link must point to an author page on the same site as the content page. For example, the page http://example.com/content/webmaster_tips could have a link to the author page at http://example.com/authors/mattcutts. Google uses a variety of algorithms to determine whether two URLs are part of the same site. For example, http://example.com/content, http://www.example.com/content, and http://news.example.com can all be considered as part of the same site, even though the hostnames are not identical.

Plus you can use the rel=”me” to communicate to the search engine that the links on an author page all represent the profile of the same person. Google gave an example:

Say that Matt is a frequent contributor to http://example.com. Here’s a link from his http://example.com author page to the page he maintains on http://mattcutts.com:

<a rel=”me” href=”http://mattcutts.com”>Read more about Matt</a>

In turn, Matt’s profile on http://mattcutts.com points back to his author page on http://example.com, like this:

Matt has also written <a rel=”me” href=”http://example.com/contributors/mattcutts”>lots of articles for the Foo Times</a>.

The reciprocal rel=”me” links tell Google that the profiles at http://mattcutts.com and http://example.com/contributors/mattcutts represent the same person.

I do not know if Google will just pick up the markup and trust it or if Google has to whitelist your site to be approved for this markup. You can test it using Google’s Rich Snippet testing tool.

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Thanks to Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz