Authorship Rel = Author (Photo by Magnus68)

Are you an author? Do you write content that is published online? You’ll want to pay attention to this!

I recently decided to (finally) have a go at tackling Google’s somewhat elusive authorship code. I admit I was sceptical about it. As a freelance writer who has written for numerous blogs over the past few years, I wondered if I would be able to get attribution for all those past posts. Could Google really create something that would benefit authors and not just pure techie-search people? After numerous (somewhat confusing) hours of reading how-to’s and tutorials, I finally managed to get authorship working for me. These are my thoughts on it…

Google’s author rank, or Authorship Markup is a great idea. It provides a visual impact which can lead to “social proof”, which in turn can aid click-through rates.

What does that mean in non-SEO jargon?


Image credit: Red or Blue Digital

The way I understand it is this: it gives your content authority.

You become recognised for a niche, which in turn means when people see your name show up, they’re more likely to want to read it and to trust your content. This gives Google a clue that what you write can be trusted, which in turn positively affects your website/search rankings.

This is good, but like many of Google’s shiny new tools, it requires that the author has a Google + account.  Also, if  you don’t have one domain from which you blog regularly, author rank becomes more difficult to track (though not necessarily impossible).

My initial understanding was that claiming authorship for past posts would be next to impossible, however it seems that if your blog posts included your name and a mailto link (mailto: your email address), Google is smart enough to figure out the post was written by you. Sound too good to be true? It’s not! I discovered today that a blog I hadn’t remembered to include on my contributor list was now being attributed to me on Google + even though the blog uses my maiden name. Crazy.

Author Rank seems to be much more intuitive and intelligent than I had originally given it credit for, but it’s not perfect.

So, here’s how I managed to implement my authorship mark up:

  1.  Go to Google + account and make sure +1s are public. Check.
  2.  Make sure Google+ profile is public. Check.
  3. Edit Contributor to section on Google + profile to include blogs I write for. Check.
  4. Figure out where to add Author mark-up… Hmm.

If you have your own site/blog or want to tell Google that you are a contributor to a site, simply use a bit of code on your author or bio page and Google will figure out you are an author on the site. Here’s the bit of code you need (replace the x’s with your Google + account number; it’s the long number that’s part of your G+ URL).

<a href=””>Your name</a>

There are numerous other ways to implement Author Rank. I am still working out the details. Click here for a good tutorial by someone far more tech savvy than me.

So is Author rank really worth all the fuss? Yes. Mostly.

Is it everything it could be? Not yet. But it may be over time.

This may be controversial but I think where Google’s AuthorRank falls flat is in its direct (required) connection with Google+. I’d personally like to see a company develop author rank that is universal and less tied into one social network, but maybe that’s coming.

Still, if you’re an author, this is a great way to see your content brought together in one place. This  benefits you as an author and your site search & click through rates.

Once implemented, Author Rank through Google should help increase your site’s click through rates and it will increase your authority as a creator of content online. Score!



Note: Opinions expressed in this article are my own and not necessarily the opinion of everyone at a451. 

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