There’s been a lot of discussion in the SEO world about rel=”author” tag and the importance now that Google’s rolling with their Google+ platform and people are “+ing” things around the web. There a number of reason why you’d want to use rel=”author”, but ultimately, I think the authorship markup will help markers and subject matter experts improve their personal brand on the web. Anyone can have a voice, and we see more and more users being more transparent with their identify online; they want a share of the conversation, and they want their name heard.
It was a rocky start getting the tags implemented correctly on my current WordPress theme, “Standard Theme”. I followed Yoast’s awesome tutorial on how to implement the markup on my site, but that failed because of a number of reasons… There are discussions currently in the support rooms about the theme not supporting this new attribute at the moment (I hope they fix that soon). After an hour of fiddling with the code, I figured out a few solutions to the problems that I came across. Hopefully theywill help you to get your authorship markup working.
Some of those issues were:
- Standard Theme did not have author.php and had an author box which made matters even more complicated;
- “rel” automatically gets stripped out so… another complicate matter; and,
- Errors after errors (let me share those with you).
First off, you will want to follow Yoast’s tutorial (linked above) all the way through to get the authorship markup, if you want to get the rel=”author” implemented correctly. You may be drowning in a bit of code doing this, so keep your chin up until we get to the end of this, and hopefully your questions get answered here. Here were some of the errors I came across while implementing the authorship markup:
[Solution] This is a fairly straight forward fix, but for those using Standard Theme, there doesn’t appear to be any fixes within the files itself. So to fix this error, I simply added a new button to my sidebar that points to my Google+ page. I also added the rel=”me” attribute to the snippet of code. So your code should look something like this:
<a href=https://plus.google.com/u/0/102450591677203177780/about” rel=”me” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://jacksonlo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/gplus-icon.png” height=”50″ width=”50″ alt=”Follow Jackson on Google+”/></a>
After I got that figured out, another error hits me:
[Solution] What this error is telling is, after we’ve specified who the author is and which Google profile we are associating, we need explicit permission from the actual Google user to use their page as the reference author. In order to go so, head over to your Google+ page and locate your About page, and click the edit profile button. From there, you can add your site to the Other Profiles or Contributor to sections.
After you site is added, you reverify through the Rich Snippet Tool… and you should be on your way! (check out AJ Kohn’s post on saving a Rich Snippet Bookmarklet to your toolbar – it will save you a ton of time!)
After you’re done with that, then you’re ready to see how powerful rel=”author” really is… John Doherty recently published a post on Google’s Hidden Author Search… a bookmarklet that you can pin to your toolbar to look up archive posts from any author on the web Check it out, it may just blow you away!