Lee Heidel

Google and Author Attribution

Google's love for microdata is expanding to recognizing and displaying author attribution for individual web pages. Here's their original announcement from June, stating their case for extrapolating the author of an individual blog post or article: Authorship Markup and Web Search.

In the long run, this should help Google weed out content aggregators or page-scrapers and penalize sites that may be re-broadcasting the content without permission. It will also allow more traffic to go to the source of the article and limit the number of pages returned in search results, making the article easier to find.

At the most basic level, you can achieve compliance by doing the following:

1) Make sure your author's name is given on the page. Example:
By: John Smith

2) Add an anchor tag to the author's name that links to the author's bio page or a Google+ profile with the rel="author" attribute added. Example:
By: <a href="http://johnsmithsbio.com" rel="author">John Smith</a>

If linking to a non-Google profile page, you will then link your on-site bio page to your Google+ profile and likewise, link your Google+ profile back to your author bio page. That completes the authentication loop.

Another Google incentive for adding the author attribution is enhancing search engine displays, like this one (nice photo, Paul!): 

If you have any questions about author attribution or would like to have your Movable Type or Wordpress site updated to take advantage of this technology, we'd love to hear from you. Let's Talk.