How to implement rel=author on WordPress blogs

Google authorship

How to implement rel=author on WordPress blogs – A couple of months ago, Google announced its official support for authorship markup tag and web search. Basically, it means that you can link a blog post to an author page/profile formally (a profile page or his/her Google profile).

This also makes Google Search Results showing the author’s avatar on the right hand side, which is really cool and stands the result out among the rest (see screenshot above).

Here is how to make your WordPress blog show the author’s avatar on Google search result pages (Google SERPs).

How to implement rel=author on WordPress blogs

These steps overall might look very complicated but just do it one at the time :)

1) Add rel=author link on the author’s profile link on every post

Every WordPress theme has a single.php which is responsible to display a full single WordPress blog post. Somewhere in the code, there should be a line where it prints who the author of the post is and also links it to the author’s URL (saved in WordPress’ Administration – Users – Your Profile – Website)).

Do a keyword search “get_author_posts_url” (or “the_author_url”) on your theme’s Single.php (Appearance-Editor-Single.php) then add the rel=”author” in the href section (so it should be something like  a href=”………<….get_author_post_url……>” rel=”author”…..)

2) Link your author’s profile to an About page or your Google profile

On your WordPress user profile (Administration – Users – Your Profile – Website):

  • If you have an About me page somewhere on the same blog’s URL, you can use that. For example, I use my About me page as my (the author’s) URL.
    contact info
  • If you don’t have one, you can use your Google profile URL. Your Google Profile URL should look something like:
    contact google

3) If you link it to an “About me” page, place your Google profile URL anywhere on the About page with “rel=me”

Edit your about page and place a link back to your Google profile. Use the HTML editor and add rel=”me” on the href section (so it’ll be like href=”…….your Google profile URL….” rel=”me”…>)

4) On your Google Profile, link to your About page

If you have Google+, simply go to your profile by clicking on your name on the left (next to your avatar) and click on the Edit Profile button.

Click the Links area on the right hand side then add a new link. Put your About page URL and make sure you tick the “This page is specifically about me” option.

About me Google Profile

Phew, that’s it! Now you have all these linked together and that should make Google happy. Hope it’s not too complicated!

How do you know that the rel=author and/or rel=me works?

Use Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool from Google Webmaster Central to test whether you’ve done the right steps. Just put any of your post’s URL into the text field and click on the Preview button.

If you miss a step or didn’t place the rel=author mark up correctly, you should see an error like below:

Google Author not working

If you did it correctly, you shouldn’t see any error message and should see the post’s author’s avatar on the right-hand side like this:

Google Author working

This also works for multiple authors on a blog. For example, here is what happen if I put in a guest post’s URL by Rob Boirun at Craving Tech into the Rich Snippet Testing tool:

Multi author

Cool, eh? Don’t forget to share this post to your fellow bloggers!


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