An Authorship FAQ from Google

Posted on by Daniel Hinds
Categories: Google Tagged: ,

Google Authorship is quickly becoming one of the most talked about aspects of SEO. The rel=”author” tag lets you attach your name and Google+ profile to the content you create on the web, giving you a picture in a rich snippet and a general air of authority in SERPs. We have the guide to setting up Google Authorship right here, and below is the advanced guide, based on the FAQ recently published by Google. This should answer most of your Authorship questions, but feel free to email us if you have any more.

Now, to the FAQ:

1. Where Can You Use Authorship?

This one is pretty simple. The page needs to be a single article (not an entire blog or site), and it needs to carry a byline somewhere on the post. Also (and this may seem obvious) the person claiming the page with authorship needs to have actually written the piece.

2. Can I Use a Mascot?

The short answer is no, mascots cannot be the author of any page. The longer answer is that Google “prefers to feature a human” so you can use a mascot if you really want to, but it’s not a good idea as standard practice.

3. Can I have Multiple Google+ Profiles?

You better stick to just one for now. Some people want multiple profiles, especially ones who speak different languages, but it confuses Authorship for Google and can muddy your results. Stick to one Google+ account per author for the time being.

4. Can I Have Multiple Authors on a Piece?

Currently, you can only have one author per page. Google is looking into changing that in the future, but again, it would muddy their Authorship results so they aren’t going to roll out anything new until they are positive they can manage it well.

5. Can I Hide Authorship?

We don’t know the reason you wouldn’t want to use Authorship, maybe you are writing for some questionable “fringe” blogs or something. We won’t pry. If you want to turn off Authorship for certain accounts, you can find the instructions here from Google.

6. Can My Publication be an Author?

Currently Authorship is limited to just people, but there is a rel=”publisher” tag that is in the works. You can use it currently, but it doesn’t do anything yet. As Authorship grows, watch for the rel=”publisher” tag to start seeing more use.

7. Can I Author a Product Page?

You can give it a try, but it’s a bad idea! Google has officially “discouraged” people from using Authorship in this way, even if you customize the heck out of a product page. You’re better off writing a blog about the product (with a link to the product page in the post) and then giving yourself Authorship of that blog.


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