Authorship Markup, Google Plus And Niche Domination In Simple Terms For Bloggers

I wrote this

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.

What is an authorship markup?

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:

  1. Link your blog from your Google plus profile.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

Author markup algorithm

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.

How to set up Google authorship markup with rel=author, real simpl way.

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

SERP displaying verified author

Click to enlarge….

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.

Niche domination

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Author Markup Content Scrapping

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.

And if you found this post useful, please share it in your social circle. I’d appreciate that; thank you!

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  1. DiTesco says

    Hi Jane. This is really great and my tutorial is really a nice compliment to his one, as I have not really drilled that deep as to why one should have it or not. The two posts combined is all there is to know about authorship markup :) Top notch and thanks for the luv…
    DiTesco recently posted..Best Google Plus Guides And TutorialsMy Profile

  2. Ray@dolphin tutorials says

    Nice work Jane and great tutorial by DiTesco/Fransisco over at iblogzone. I still find it a little confusing, and hope Google will make it a little easier or simplified in the future. It is kind of a neat feature, and to see your icon/avatar/gravatar thing show up in a search result would be really cool.
    Ray recently posted..Firefox 6 ReleasedMy Profile

    • Jane SheebaJane Sheeba says

      It’s great to show off and it will also increase click throughs I’m sure. Although I’ve set it up, the SERPs don’t show my thumbnail yet. After then I hope to see the results :)

    • Jane SheebaJane Sheeba says

      Yes Ana, to be honest we never knew that our posts could supplement each other. I was writing this post a week back when I never knew about Fransisco’s post.

  3. Darryl BurmaDarryl Burma says

    Hi Jane,

    Once again thanks for your great tips! I have been using this strategy for a few weeks now and it really does pay off and have a positive impact. I especially like your point about “to combat content scrappers”, when it comes to working online few things are more annoying than content scrapers! The fact that content scrapers actually get good search engine rankings in a lot of cases is, well first of all, beyond me and mind boggling since they don’t do any work and don’t deserve any credit/earnings from stealing content, and secondly can also be VERY disturbing and annoying, but perhaps with Google+ and these tips that you speak of they will slowly be weeded out.

    • Jane SheebaJane Sheeba says

      Oh Darryl I really wish that Google uses author markup as an official tool to kick those scrappers. They’re really annoying :)

  4. Umair Abid @ Internet Marketing BlogUmair Abid @ Internet Marketing Blog says

    I have no idea what to do I followed several ways of getting author mark up including DiTesco one but still I didn’t get success. I guess their is something wrong with the blog because I also installed replyme plug in which is also activated but it is not showing the checkbox to notify for follow up comments???

    • Jane SheebaJane Sheeba says

      How did you know that it didn’t work Umair? Did you check with the rich snippets tool? Coz, if you’re expecting your picture to show up in search results, it will take time. Let me know how I can be of help.

  5. LionelLionel says

    Thanks for this post. I’ve heard about the Google author attribute, but had no idea how it worked or what the benefit was. This really helped me understand things better :)

  6. Nick StamoulisNick Stamoulis says

    Unfortunately content scraping is a big problem. Claiming authorship in this way is at least one way to try and combat the issue. Unfortunately these spammy sites will always find a way around the rules, but it’s good to see that Google is making this a priority of theirs.

    • Jane SheebaJane Sheeba says

      Nick I’m sure that one of the biggest nightmares for every bloggers is content scrapping issue. It feels so bad to have someone use your content just like that. I very much hope Google helps us fight it.

    • Jane SheebaJane Sheeba says

      Oh yes Andy, as far as I remember you were the first one to bring this thing to practice for guest bloggers. That was a great idea! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. adam@cheesy pick up linesadam@cheesy pick up lines says

    Honestly I still don’t have account with google plus but this post convinced me get one simple because I love the advantages that I can get from it.

    • Jane SheebaJane Sheeba says

      Adam, you should really get an account. It’s fun, business, promotion, great for engaging with others and much more as you would see :)

  8. Harleena SinghHarleena Singh says

    Awesome post Jane!

    Each time I visit your blog, I learn something new! I never knew about author markup other than a normal author’s bio,till I read about it here! However, I am still a little confused about how to get the rel=”author” working?

    The tutorial by DiTesco, combined with your article, sure makes an awesome post. It sure is something I need to get down to do, so that I get all the benefits as you mentioned in your post.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  9. QasimQasim says

    That is a great and simple explanation of Author markup, it’s really important for bloggers today to implement author markup in their blogs, with all the latest Google search engine updates, Google started to fight content duplication by finding the duplicate content and force penalty both on both sites since Google doesn’t know which one is the original, with Author Markup Google now knows who is the real author and will only force penalty to the copying site.

  10. Kenny FabreKenny Fabre says


    authorship markup looks cool and ive seen them all over google, but the reason I’m not using it is because I dont want people to keep clicking on my picture when they should be clicking on my article

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Haha :) a weird reason Kenny! Sorry that I made a joke about it; I seriously don’t know if you said that seriously.

      Anyways, why wouldn’t you want people to click on your picture (actually that leads to your Google+ profile, right?)

      But I usually end up clicking the link to article (and yes those with pictures grab my attention). I have never clicked one picture from SERPs yet!

      • Kenny FabreKenny Fabre says

        Jane LOL I’m actually saying it seriously, you know because I would find myself clicking on the persons picture most of the time, I’m thinkong the CTR Click Through Rate will decrease o the article

  11. Carl says

    hi Jane, I’ve become aware of the author attribute in the last week or so, being a late adopter of HTML 5, in your opinion how important is google plus for SERP rankings?

  12. Susan Cooper says

    This is a very helpful and timely post. I will be using some of the things you suggest and I am grateful that you took the time to put this together. Thank you. :-), Susan Cooper from LinkedIn BHB

  13. Nishant SrivastavaNishant Srivastava says

    Having authorship in blogs really gives amazing response, people love to click on those links which have image of the author in Google search, authorship really helps to drive more traffic.

  14. AK.Andrew says

    This is a fantastic article Jane. It totally makes sense but I wasn\’t aware of how to link the two. T so much hanks for showing us an easy way to do that.

  15. C.Treft says

    Author rank looks like it is going to be the next ‘big’ thing for bloggers. I’ve been doing guest posting on high ranking sites hoping to work on my reach as well as my PR. When these sites post my article, they introduce the article and basically copy/paste my article into their post. The post shows with ‘them’ as the author instead of me. How do you address this? Any thoughts?

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Oh yes, this happens in cases where you don’t “register” and submit your guest post. When you register, you’ve got a chance to link your Google plus profile from your Contributor account at their blog.

  16. hirahira says

    jane this was a wonderful tutorial. After reading it I was able to verify my authorship in just few minutes. The whole process looked like a cakewalk. thank you for sharing this post

  17. C.Treft says

    Thanks. I\’m hopeful that the sites that are requesting guest blogs will be receptive to adding me as a contributor. If not, I guess it\’s time to look for other guest opportunities.

  18. Ravi SinghRavi Singh says

    I believe that having authorship in blogs really gives awesome targeted response, People like to click on those links which have image of the author in Google search, authorship markup can help a reader get quite a bit of extra information about the author because authorship markup tags are associated with an author’s Google+ profile page.Authorship really helps to drive more traffic.

  19. Adeline Yuboco says

    I just recently got an email from Google about my authorship. One thing I’ve noticed is that it has been a big help when it comes to driving traffic. For me, it gives this subliminal message to the visitors that if Google saw that it’s worth recognizing the author by posting their photo beside their post, then it must be worth taking a look and read.
    Adeline Yuboco recently posted..An Intimate Affair with Spanish Wine at the ASEAN Merchants LaunchMy Profile

  20. Ravi SinghRavi Singh says

    Hi jane,
    I have heard about Google Authorship but I don’t know why should we join the Google Authorship? But Now I knew and Decided to take a Google authorship. Thank you for sharing. They are some awesome guidelines you have given us.

  21. Robert JamesRobert James says

    I think Google plus can really be a good source of traffic.Though it is undermined to an extent,its a really a great social media weapon.I wonder if Google has check on how much the site is popular on their social network.Also about the content scrappers,its really sad that they get credit for virtually do nothing.I hope they are weeded out in the process.Thanks for the tips!
    Keep Writing.

  22. Bhushan says

    It is an excellent post jane!!it Google Authorship is easy to identify who is the original content who writer. Thank you sharing info regarding authorship markup.

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