How to Increase Your Google Rel=”Author Tag (And What That Really Means)
What is rel=”author?”
The simplest way to describe it is putting a face with a name. It’s part of the Google Authorship program, and it’s a tag that links the content that you write to your Google profile. You’ve undoubtedly seen these thumbnail-sized photos come up in search results.
Here’s a primer on how to increase your Google rel=”author” tag through your web design and why it can benefit you and your blog.
How to Implement the Tag
The simplest way to start using rel=”author” is to follow the directions from Google itself, but here’s a short summary. The first step is to make sure you have a Google Profile in place. Make sure this page has a link to the site you’re writing for and that your website links back to the Google Profile page as well.
Then include the rel=”author” code in every bylined piece that you write. The finished coding will look something like this: By <a href="http://[your website]" rel="author">[your name]</a>.
Why Use the Tag?
You may be wondering why it’s worth going through the time and effort to set up the rel=”author” tag. Isn’t a simple byline on your stories enough? The short answer is no. Part of blogging is establishing yourself as a well-known, trusted source, and by using rel=”author,” you’re putting a face to your writing. People tend to trust articles with a biographical photo more than those without one. By putting your face alongside your words, you’re showing that you are proud of what you’ve written and that you really do exist. You’re not just some faceless Internet drone.
This is important when trying to sell yourself as an authority on your chosen subject. Your Google Profile lists all the reasons why you’re a good source, and you should be linking to it whenever possible. Adding your photo makes you stand out in search results and draws the eye to your story.
Expanding the Reach of Your Tag
Now that you know how to use rel=”author,” here are some ways to make it work for you. It goes without saying that you should be using it with every piece you write on your blog. Here are some other things to consider:
· Go back to old blog posts and add in the rel=”author” tag
· Employ the rel=”author” tag with a <link> element on your site’s header
· Add it to your Yoast WordPress search-engine optimization plugin
· Include it on guest posts you write for other websites
Additional Benefits of Rel=”Author”
Another interesting advantage of using rel=”author” is that it will open up new tools for you in Google Webmaster. Go to “Labs” and you will find a new category, “Author Stats.” This tracks the number of times that your rel=”author” bylines showed up in searches as well as the number of times people actually clicked on them. Warning: As with all Google stats, this can become addictive and you may find yourself checking it dozens of times per week.
Finally, there’s one last great reason to increase use of the rel=”author” tag, and that’s a sneaky little perk from Google. When someone clicks on one of your bylined results with the tag, when they return to the search results, Google will add more articles with your byline. Now that’s a hidden benefit worth doing a little coding work for.