using rel=author tags on blogs to optimize content ownership
I came across this article, AuthorRank could be more disruptive than all of the Panda updates combined, this morning and decided it was time to practice what I preach. I’ve been advising our bloggers to link their blogs to Google+ as well as work on their Google+ visibility, and this post persuaded me it was time to update my blog.
There is a great Rel=Author Step By Step Tutorial For WordPress here for people who may not be on Google+ yet and it may work for most people.
But the instructions vary depending on your blog host and your theme. I host my own wordpress blog and it just so happened that I’m using a theme that does not support menus or allow for automatically adding a bio to each post. And despite the fact that it probably is time to update my blog theme, I was not feeling it this afternoon.
So I looked for another solution. Because this post, rel=”author” and rel=”me” in WP and other platforms, went a little deeper I was able to figure out why I was getting this error over and over again:
linked author profile = http://www.ljbanks.com/author/admin/
Error: Author profile page does not have a rel="me" link to a Google Profile. Learn more.
The good thing is, you can test how your snippets will theoretically show in the SERPs here as many times as you like: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
Here is what worked for me (YMMV so refer to the links above for more complete instructions):
- I finally updated my wordpress profile to reflect my actual name and not “admin” (I know, I know…)
- I linked my “Contributor to” to field in the right nav of my Google + profile page to my “About” page on my blog.
- Then I linked my blog to my Google Profile. To do this I added a badge with a link to my Google profile in my sidebar. However, if you use this tool to create a badge it will give you a “rel=”author” and in my case I needed a “rel=me.” Easy enough to change, but something to keep in mind. The Google instructions for tying your blog to your Google + profile did not make that part clear.
- Tested it in the Rich Snippet Tester
Now I can make recommendations to our bloggers with a clean conscience. And it was a good exercise for me to set my Profile up to claim my own blog posts and start tying the topics I post about to my name and increasing my ownership and hopefully future visibility in Google.