Authorship and The Mystery of REL=Author (Clean and Patient)

If you haven’t heard anything about the hurdles of the “rel = author” snippets, it’s still new (part of HTML5) and Google is using it for several reasons. It is, however, an important issue – and one you need to look at implementing.

You folks that know me have heard me say, “I’m talk-nology more than technology” so here’s the business reason (not the tech reason) you want to know about this and get authorship on your site:


Here’s the search result of a post I did earlier today on Google+ Hangouts for Business:

A few things to notice:

  1. Amy-Mae Elliott’s piece on Mashable shows up with Amy-Mae face in a byline. Along with Google+ Circling options.
  2. Every result has a +1 button (I clicked this one)
  3. My face shows, but only because I clicked on the +1 button. If others in my circles or contacts do likewise, I will see their face as well. Those who +1 that are not in my circles – I won’t see their face.
  4. Interesting, +Denis Labelle shared my bit on Google+ – and he shows up close to the top as well.

From what I’ve read, having the proper authorship isn’t going to give you a better search position. Yet, you and I both know that people will be drawn to the faces in the byline. And those “circle” options. So convenient.

There’s another important part of this though: Patience

A few folks are pulling out their hair over or investing many hours on getting this right (I have no hair left, so I’m stuck on the latter).

Don’t try to game a system. Throw away the conspiracy theories. Last night I found that maybe clean code and patience is what’s necessary.

Dialing 8 member and Real Estate pro Craig Kamman saw his byline start to appear in search results recently:

Now Craig’s domain is pretty new. He did use a plugin found on Robert Dempsey’s site. So clean code (site is new + a trusted plugin). Patience (I think Craig put that into place a few weeks ago).

Clean code. Patience. Face in a byline. That’s rel = author.

You’ll need the Rich Snippet Tool. And the help page that guides you through it.

I’m still in patience mode:

Here are some great helps from others who’ve got it right thus far:

Scott Hanselman
AJ Kohn
Joost de Valk 
Jim Connolly


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