authorship / google / seo

rel=”me”, rel=”author” & rel=”publisher”

Looking around the internet no one seems to have all three of these in the same place so I thought I’d gather what everyone else is saying and put it here.

What is it?

These little bits of info are important to identifying things on the internet made by you or your company. By using them you let Google (and other entities) know that this is your stuff and you should be recognized for it. Authorship is used by bloggers, web designers and other individuals who make cool stuff. You put it somewhere on your page and point it to your profile. Sounds simple, right? I thought not.

How do I use authorship?

First, you need a page to represent you. It could be your Google+ profile, Public Facebook Profile or some other page about you. This will be your Author Page. The url for this page will be what you use in your authorship tags (ie. Then, put a link back to your author page with the appropriate tag on any page you’ve contributed to.


This is the first and the most common. It’s meant to be used to identify you, the author. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Put it on your site somewhere as a link. Try something like this:
    <a href=”″ rel=”me”>Evan Davis</a>
  • Put it in the <head> tag in the code where no one will see:
    <link rel=”author” href=”″ />
  • Use an image like this:
    <a rel=”author” href=”″><img alt=”Evan Davis Profile” src=”google-plus.gif” /></a>
  • Hide it in the body code like this:
    <meta rel=”author” href=”″ />

When do you use it? Any time you have made something online, any place it’s displayed. Unless you need:


Sometimes it’s the company that owns the content. If you’re a web designer creating a website for a client, they might have a profile page that represents their site. Often this is the Google Places page (now merged with Google+). What kind of tags to use and where you put them is similar to rel=author. It is possible for content to have both a publisher and an author. For example:

A dental website has instructions written by one of it’s dentists about how to brush your teeth. It would make sense to have the rel=publisher tag in the header pointed to the dentistry’s Google Places page. It also makes sense to have a <meta> tag hidden at the end of the article pointing to the dentist’s Google+ profile.

It is possible for the publisher to publish anonymously, omitting the rel=author tag.


What if you are not the author or publisher for the entire page? In this case putting a full link to your profile would be best. For example:

You are asked to create a blog post for a friend on his marketing firm’s blog. The marketing firm is the rel=publisher, the friend might be the regular blogger there and has his rel=author all over the page. You then make a post which he will put on the site. You add a little bit of code at the end of your post: <a href=”″ rel=”me”>Evan Davis</a>

Linking Profiles

Another use of rel=”me” is linking profiles. Place a rel=me link on each seperate profile pointing to your author page. Also place a rel=me link on the main author page pointing back to the other profiles.

Business Authorship

I have not seen Google displaying images for businesses as authors. If you are a sole proprieter and your face is the face of the business you need two authorship accounts: One for your business and one for you. Make the business the publisher of the page and you the author. This way your image will show up when it is not in the local search block. Note: Google does not want logos, only an image of an actual person will be displayed.

Now get out there, claim your content and be recognized!


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