The Difference Between Rel=Author and Rel=Me

Google has introduced a new way to identify authors on the internet. They want you to put a link with the rel=”author” attribute in it. Wait no, they want the rel=”me” tag. Oh, they want both…or is it the rel=”publisher” attribute.

Which is it then?

I don’t know, let me go check… <rummage>… <crash>… wait, it’s around here… <clang>… I’ve been looking for that… <crunch>… mmm, crunchy… aha! No… <ding>… yeah that’s it. I’ll break it down for you: rel=”author” To identify who has written a specific piece of prose, whether it be a blog, news article or some other lenghty bit of wordage Google has asked that we put a link to our author profile and include the rel=author attribute like so:

<a href=”” rel=”author”>About Evan Davis</a>

Evan Davis Authorship

This link should point to a profile about you on whatever relevant site you want to use. So if you write for the Huffington Post, this link would point to your Huffington Post profile page. Google would like you to use your Google profile page, but they say (fingers crossed) that they won’t penalize you for not using it.

What if I don’t?

Well, they still want to make sure it’s the same you they know about. So, on your Huffington Post Profile Page (or whatever you’re using) put a link with the rel=me attribute in it like so:

<a href=”” rel=”me”>Evan Davis</a>

This will make sure Google knows who you are and can credit you for what you’ve written. They might even put your picture next to your articles in their search.

Credit’s nice.

Yes it is and they not only want to give it to you they also want to give it to your publisher. A publisher can put rel=publisher in the headers of the site and somewhere in the content for example:

<link rel=”” rel=”publisher” />

This would be put in the unseen section of the webpage in the <head></head> section. You can also put this on your page:

<a href=”” rel=”publisher”>See businessname on Google+</a>

As far as I know this one requires you point it to your Google business profile. They might include the business logo in the search results along with the author information. They will be testing this more and more in the next year. I can see how it might help the ailing news industry.