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What if I can’t use rel=author links?

What if I can’t use rel=author links? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

MATT CUTTS: Hello. This is Matt Cutts. And we brought back Othar from the search quality group, who’s one of the main guys who ‘s been working on rel=”author” and authorship. And we wanted to talk a little bit about a way to make it even easier to annotate your pages, and show that there’s authorship. So, Othar, we’ve done a video in the past where we walked through– you just add rel=”author” to an anchor that’s basically pointing to a Google profile, or a bio page. It’s not that hard to edit the HTML. But some people are kind of allergic to editing their HTML, or they can’t get their CMS guy to do anything at all. OTHAR HANSSON: Or they have a sanitizer in the way that’s just stripping out the rel=. MATT CUTTS: Yeah. So is there anything that Google can do that’s even easier as a way to show this is the person who created this content? OTHAR HANSSON: Of course there is. MATT CUTTS: Wow. Tell me all about it. OTHAR HANSSON: So I’d like to talk about using basically special anchors and specially URLs to get around this problem, that not every author can change their site, and add rel=”author” tags. So here’s how you do it. Find your Google profile. It has some URL. Since we’re handling the case where you can’t add rel=”author” to the link, we want you to add basically a CGI param at the end of the you link– ?rel=”author” just on the end of that link. Wrap that in an a tag, so href= that. And also we want to make sure that we don’t unintentionally say that you are the author of some article. We want you to put as the anchor of that article something like +MattCutts, and then close the tag. MATT CUTTS: So if I can’t control the attributes, I can still add a link to this special URL. I just add ?rel=”author”. And then I add the plus, because Google+ and all that sort of stuff. So the anchor text is saying Matt Cutts wrote this. And I’m pointing to my Google profile. OTHAR HANSSON: Right. And so, as always, you want to point back to the site that your writing on. But this makes it a lot easier. And when you see these plus name links on the web– MATT CUTTS: It’s a pretty common idiom now. People understand that. OTHAR HANSSON: View-source. Check out whether they’re doing this idiom. And again, this gets to the problem that not every author can change their site and add rel= tags everywhere they want. MATT CUTTS: This is fast. I can take anything that’s already hyperlinked up. I don’t have to change my CMS. I just add this one extra parameter. I add a plus in front of it. OTHAR HANSSON: Right. Exactly. And you can just add it in the footer of the article you just wrote. You can say read the full interview at x, and visit me on Google+. MATT CUTTS: Right on. Very cool. OK. Well, that seems really simple. Do we still want people to do the full markup if they can, or– OTHAR HANSSON: So we still do, because that’s a lot more bulletproof, right? MATT CUTTS: Yeah. OTHAR HANSSON: We’re not going to unintentionally give you credit for things that you didn’t write. So we still want people to do that. But this is a good interim measure to get the data in the meantime. MATT CUTTS: I like it a lot. Short and simple, all you have to do is add a hyperlink. You don’t even have to edit your HTML at all. OTHAR HANSSON: Right. And so as always, visit the Google authorship help center for full details on this. MATT CUTTS: Awesome. OTHAR HANSSON: Syntax may change. Who knows? MATT CUTTS: Yeah. Everything can evolve in the future. And we’ll add a link in the metadata for the video. So if you’re watching this on YouTube, click down and look at the other stuff. And you’ll find a link to the help and all the documentation about it. All right. Great. Thanks very much. OTHAR HANSSON: Thanks.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: