Google is processing content with a new kind of indexing, called author markups. It helps Google pull together all the content you have created on the web, into one list in the search results. People see this list of content you’ve authored when searching your name. It also connects your name with a Google Profile you set up, and your author page on your website. Google uses the links you enter in your profile to trace all the content you have created on the web.
In short, author markup helps you reveal all your content on the Web when someone searches on your name, and can help people find your website – specifically your author bio.
For example, here are results for a search on Matt Cutts (the Google employee) showing the effect of author markup on Search Engine Results display:
Plus, it helps Google verify true authorship. This publishing method helps you mark the content you publish as yours.
Google is rolling this out gradually. You may not yet see it in your own search results. But to take advantage of author-related Google displays, now’s the time to mark up the content for indexing.
The markup is visible only to search engines. It contains two things: 1) a relationship tag marking your relationship to the content as it’s author – rel=”author”; 2) a link tag connecting the content to a profile you choose, for example –http://www.example.com/about-me.
If you use WordPress, you already have a running start on getting author markup to work for you. Author markup tools were built into the software core with WordPress version 3.2, your current version. The new upgrade, version 3.2.1, will continue to offer author markup capability. This means you can set up WordPress to publish the correct markup automatically, each time you post.
It is not enough just to upgrade to WordPress 3.2 and above. You (or your webmaster) need to set up the options, your theme, and your content to work with Google indexing. And finally, it is important to have a Google Profile to help Google link all your content together.
If you use WordPress to create your blog, here are some tips.
- Make sure you’re using the latest version. If your template allows a byline with an author URL, this will let you add rel=”author” to your post byline.
- If your blog has an About page, you can modify its link to include rel=”author”.
- If rel=”author” is disappearing from your profile page, you can enable rel=”author” in author bios.
There is more than one way to use author markup to help Google track all your work. Here is the recommended way (thanks to this article at Yoast.com about using rel=author):
- Set up each article in your blog to use author markup, with a link to your author bio page (usually your About page) on the same domain
- Set up your blog’s About page to your Google Profile (to set one up, see the Google Profile page.
- Use the Google Profile to link back to your author page on your blog (back to http://www.example.com/about-me, for example)
Once done, we can check to see if your pages are published with the markup Google is looking for to determine authorship. The tool to check is Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool