Update: Google Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search. Google has ended its Authorship program.
What are authorship/copyright markups and why they are so important for professional bloggers? The battle to dominate search result pages is full of tricks and maneuvering. Greedy webmasters who turn their blogs into advertising machine recklessly copy content from other blogs without giving citation or backlinks to their victims. So Google came up with a novel solution – standardize the use of copyright seal within the links in author signatures and citations.
WordPress bloggers usually use only a plain signature link after the title of their article or at the byline section at the end of the article. Under the new authorship markup standard of Google, which is based on HTML 5, bloggers can add additional information in the link tag to inform crawlers that they are the original author of the content. This can be accomplished by using the "rel=author" and rel="me" markups along with the URL of Google+ Profile of the authors (in case of rel=me).
Getting Author Highlights
Example of authorship markups in byline and author signature:
<a rel="me" href="https://plus.google.com/108827242253165431519">+Rajesh</a>
The plus sign in the anchor text is a must when linking to Googe+ Profile.
<a rel="author" href="https://www.techlila.com/author/rajeshnamase/">About Rajesh</a>
In the first example, the signature link points to Google+ Profile page of the author. The author must edit his Google+ account and add link to your blog in “Contributor to” or in “Other profiles” section where this signature is published. This mutual linking will be interpreted by Google crawlers as a proof of authorship.
The rel="author" attribute in the second example has the same purpose as the first one, but the link destination should be the URL of “About the Author” page in the same WordPress blog where the article is published. In author profile page add link to Google+ profile in the same format as described in example 1. So your other pages will point to your WordPress profile page and mutual link in between Google+ profile page and WordPress author page.
An Explanation Video from Google
Watch this video to understand this topic in more details.
Issues with HTML Filters
The rel="me" and rel="author" attributes are just new markups introduced this year. Chances are there are many WordPress sites that automatically filter these attributes when added by their contributing writers. For guest bloggers who write for multiple sites, having these authorship indicators will help a lot in building their credibility and protecting their copyrights. Fortunately, there is workaround for HTML filters.
Modifying the external link to Google+
Forget about HTML filters. Two months after the official debut of the copyright markup standard, Google introduced a simpler way to add authorship indicator in signature links. This time, there is no need to use any rel attributes. All you need to do is to add ?rel=author at the end of your Google+ URL.
By passing the rel=author element in the URL of Google+, guest bloggers can enjoy the benefits of the authorship markup standard even when posting in third-party blogs with HTML filters. A modified URL request is all you need to add your authorship seal in your blog signature. We’re using same technique to verify Google Authorship for guest authors.
Update June 8th, 2012
Google came up with new easy solution for adding author highlighting to your site. Google now allows rel="author" markup through a element which you can add in head section of your website/blog. Just follow simple steps:
- Add the link element in head section of your blog. Example of link element is as follows:
<link rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/108827242253165431519/posts"/>
- Edit your Google+ profile and add link pointing back to your blog where you want to the author highlight to work in either “Contributor to” or in “Other profiles” section.
- Choose the ‘public’ option from dropdown while adding link back to your blog, otherwise it’ll not work.
Now use Google Structured Data Testing Tool to confirm it works or not.
Google Authorship and WordPress SEO plugin
If you’re using WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin then it is easy to add authorship markups. In your WordPress Dashboard, click on your profile (Users-> Your Profile) and add URL of you Google+ profile in Google+ contact field.
Once you fill this field this plugin will automatically add link element in head area on each post or page he/she publishes. To show author on homepage/frontpage, there is an option in Titles & Metas settings page under SEO. You can choose which author should be shown from dropdown.
That’s it! Let us know if you’re facing any difficulty in adding authorship to your WordPress blog.