Google Author Rich Snippets

I spent a few minutes today following Google’s guidelines for declaring authorship of online content. Done properly this can enable Google to show a photo of the author and a link to them against search results containing their content. This is one form of rich snippet that Google are planning to roll out more widely soon.

You can see a preview of this working with the rich snippet testing tool in the image below:

To enable this I first had to associate my homepage with a Google profile. I recently  signed up to Google+ (reluctantly on my non-Google Apps account) and that can be used as a Google profile.

I added the following to

<a href="" rel="author me">google+</a>

I also made sure that my Google profile was connected to by editing the Links section of my profile. Once I’d done those two things I tested in the Rich Snippet tool and saw that my homepage was properly identified as belonging to me:

Then I edited my Wordpress blog so that the about text on each blog page included a link to my homepage along with a rel=“me”. I already had the link back to my homepage so I just added rel=“me” to that link. I also made sure that was linked from my Google profile. That was enough for Google to construct the chain of authority from the post to my homepage and through to their profile page:

This was a fairly simple process overall. The key to all this working is reciprocity. Each link must be reciprocated, i.e. my blog post must link through to my profile and my profile must link through to my blog’s domain. I’m still a bit fuzzy on the difference between rel=“me” and rel=“author”. I’m using author to link my homepage to my profile but me to link between authored pages and my homepage. My intuition is telling me that the author link is delegating the author relationship to my Google profile (or vice versa) but I don’t entirely grok it yet. More reading required.

Update: Here’s an example of what the rich snippets tool displays when there is no reciprocal link from your Google Profile to the page you are testing:



Earlier Posts