How rel=author Can Impact Your Blog’s Ranking in the Search Engines

This is a guest post by Alicia Lawrence

How rel=author Can Impact Your Blog’s Ranking in the Search Engines

Google’s authorship program is a tool being used by authors of all types for higher rankings in the search engines. Using the rel=author markup, users can see who created or commented on a particular piece of content via a picture of the author that is displayed in the search engine results under the title of a blog post. Google believes this feature will allow users to more easily find and follow their favorite authors as well as create a sense of trust and transparency. To find out more about how rel=author can impact your blog’s ranking in the search engines, keep reading.

How Does This Markup Benefit Blogs?

The most significant way the rel=author markup can benefit a blogger is by how it affects clickthrough rates, especially if that face is the only one seen in a page of search results. Users can see at a glance whether a result is from someone they trust or from someone they’d like to know more about. It helps build an author’s brand as well by making snippets from a blog stand out more when compared to other results. SEO experts believe the tag will help Google’s search engines determine which content is authentic and which is not. It will become a signal of trust to users.

Why Did Google Implement This Tag?

Though there are likely many reasons, one of the most likely is that Google wants to promote transparency when it comes to content. Authors are less likely to churn out spam content when their face and name are attached to it. Likewise, those who do create spam content will be less likely to use the tag, and their listings in the search results will not be as appealing without the enhancement of the author name and photo.

How Does a Blogger Claim Ownership of Content?

There are already plugins on the market, including the popular Yoast SEO and All in One SEO, which will handle inserting this tag for you. Alternatively, you can insert it yourself by inserting the following into your header.

 <a href=“[GOOGLE ID#]?rel=author”>Your Text Here</a>

Multi-author blogs will need to tag each author in their articles. Obviously, to use this feature, you will need to have a Google+ account that uses your real name and photo.

What About Bloggers Who Contribute to a Number of Sites?

Google has thought about contributing bloggers, too. In your Google+ profile, simply add the sites that you contribute to under the “contributor to” section. You can then use the rel=author tag on those sites as well to claim your content.

You can check to see if the connection worked by using this rich snippet tool.

How Will This Affect Blog Ranks

The Google Authorship program has been around for more than a year now, but it’s still not entirely clear how significantly blogs that don’t use the tag will be affected. Currently, there are still more bloggers who do not use the tag rather than bloggers that do. As that changes, Google’s algorithms will likely be adjusted to put rank those blogs that use the markup a bit higher because the content creator is more transparent about his or her identity.

As more people use it, though, the benefits for increased clickthrough rate will be reduced because more results will compete with the enhanced listings. If you want your content to rank, though, reputation and authority using the Authorship tag will be significant factors in doing so.

Googles rel=author is a powerful tool, especially if you want to develop your personal brand as an author and creator of content. Implementing this feature is pretty easy and quick, so it’s definitely worth your while.

About Alicia

Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX who helps companies like Havahart, and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Spin Sucks.

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