It is the time that we hear a lot about author markups which are done using the rel=”author” attribute. The talk about author markups apparently boomed only after Google plus.
In fact Google has started to support author markups only after Google plus age and it is done via the author’s Google+ profile.
In layman’s terms, it is to tell Google that someone is the verified author of a particular content. The way you implement the markups may sound geeky, but it all comes down to the following simple algorithm:
- Link your blog from your Google plus profile.
- Link to your Google plus profile from your blog (this can be easily done by displaying a Google plus icon linked to your profile, as you would display any social icons like twitter or facebook).
- Whenever you write a post, that post page should carry a link to your Google+ profile. This can be easily done by including a link to your Google+ profile from your author bio.
It is that simple actually. You can find the technical details of executing this 3 step algorithm in this nice tutorial by Fransisco from iblogzone.
By doing this author markup you are indulging in a two way verification process with Google; to verify and tell people that you are indeed the author of the content on a particular page.
The two way link is absolutely needed in trivial terms which means if you are the author of a particular page, it is you who would be linking to that page from your Google plus profile.
In the whole process, you are actually identified as a verified author of a particular page, by the God of search engines, Google.
What’s in it for bloggers?
Associate blog with your Google profile
First off, you’re teaming up with Google. You’re associating your blog with your Google plus profile (which is getting viral day by day). Getting verified by Google as the author of a page is quite important to you for all purposes, given that Google is the King of search engines.
Show off and stand out
Second, you can show off. Ya when you have marked up with your content page, your thumbnail appears next to your search engine results. I think this is the most obvious reason why everyone is after it.
Who doesn’t want do show off? Plus it is not “just” showing off. You can stand out from the crowd (at least for a while until almost every Tom and Dick implements the markup) and if you are a famous person, it increases your click through; since people can see the face of the author right from the search engine results page.
For instance look at the following search engine results page
The result with an author image to the right (or left) of it immediately catches your attention. This will increase the number of click throughs easily.
Even if everyone has verified their content pages with rel=”author” attribute, you can still stand out. Faces will become familiar and if you are famous for a particular topic, people will just choose to click a link associated with your picture than some one else’s.
I am sure Google is using the author markup data to associate a particular author with a niche. So in theory if your author markup is associated with content in a particular niche Google eventually “sees” you as an expert in the niche.
And what I am proposing as a theory here is that when two (or more) pages come up on search results for the same search term, if Google sees you as an expert in the niche, then your result has all the chances to rank higher than the other pages where the authors are not experts in your niche.
Fighting the thieves (aka content scrappers)
This is one of the biggest issues when you start to become popular. When people find out that your blog consists of quality content and good readership you become a victim of content theft.
There are umpteen number of autoblogs (what a posh name?!) which simply use a plugin or a theme to strip your content from your RSS feed and publish it at their blogs, as if it were their content. The owners of such autoblogs earn from such websites by putting up adsense or monetizing it in other ways.
So it is the content you worked hard on that is out there and thieves make money out of it. One of the biggest issues that was taken care of by the Panda is the duplicate content issue.
So if there are two sites with the same content, how would the panda know which one’s genuine? Of course the Panda knows this with other “stats” and “numbers” attached to your blog (Google’s always watching ya!).
But putting an author markup kicks those scrappers right in their butt. The scrappers will be identified by Google either way
- If they keep the author byline, the two way verification process will fail because only the author bio links to Google and there is not a link from that domain to Google.
- If they remove your byline, still the author of the content cannot be verified. So if Google encounters two web pages with similar content and finds that one has a verified author and one doesn’t, it is easy to identify the content scrapper.
However, Google has not officially declared that this author markup will be used to combat duplicate content issue. But it is indeed something to anticipate.
All in all, doing author markups on your blog’s content is a great way
- to establish that you are the owner of your content,
- to dominate your niche, and
- to combat content scrappers.
I strongly suggest you to do author markup as soon as possible to enjoy some great perks in the blogosphere and search engine arena.