Claiming Google+ Authorship and Publisher Markup for SEO

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Google Author Rank is a hot topic in both the content and search marketing industry. What is Author Rank exactly? While Google hasn’t officially said anything about it, Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt said this in his new book, “The New Digital Age”.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

How can you prepare for Author Rank? Claim Google+ Authorship for yourself and Publisher for your brand.

Google+ Authorship vs. Publisher Markup

So what is the difference between adding Authorship and Publisher markup on your website? It’s simple.

  • Google+ Authorship links a person with a Google+ profile to pieces of content they have written. Content can be spread across multiple websites.
  • Google+ Publisher markup links a business/brand with a Google+ page with content on their own website. It can only link one Google+ page with one website.

Benefits of Claiming Google+ Authorship

1. [FACT] Your Google+ profile picture is displayed next to content you have written on any website, making it stand out in search results.


2. [FACT] People can click on the More by… link to find more posts written by you. This means if they find a link to a piece of content you have written for another site, it could lead them to the content you have written on your own website.

3. [SPECULATION] Google will recognize you as an authority in your niche based on the content you have claimed and how each piece of linked content has performed on social media networks (tweets, likes, +1’s, etc.).

4. [FACT] You can track analytics on content you have written for any website in Google Webmaster Tools using the Author Stats area under Labs.


How to Claim Google+ Authorship for Your Content

There are two ways to claim Google+ Authorship for your content. First off, if you have an email address that matches your domain ( and each piece of content you have written on your website is clearly marked as by you, you can log in to your Google+ account, visit the Google+ Authorship page, and enter your email address.

If you don’t have an email address on each site you write content for, you can claim authorship by adding a link to your Google+ profile to your author bios on each site you write for using the following format.

<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>
Then add each site’s link to your Google+ profile under the Contributor To section.

You can read more details about how to claim Google+ Authorship in Webmaster Tools Help. You can also use the Structured Data Testing Tool to see if Google has linked your Google+ profile to your content.

Benefits of Claiming Google+ Publisher

1. [FACT] Your Google+ page’s information is displayed next to your website, making it stand out in search results.


2. [SPECULATION] Google will recognize your website as a publisher of quality content. This can go far in preventing your website from being affected by a Google Panda update.

3. [SPECULATION] Google will link your business/brand with the authors who are linked to the content published on your website. The more authoritative authors you have creating content for your website, the stronger you will be as a publisher.

How to Add Google+ Publisher Markup

To add the Google+ Publisher markup to your website, simply add the Direct Connect link between the HEAD tags in your website’s header.

<link href="{plusPageUrl}" rel="publisher" />

You can also do it by linking to your Google+ page and adding a rel=”publisher” to the link or adding one of the Google+ badges to your page. Adding the small or standard size badges will also help you grow your page’s Google+ audience.

Have you seen positive search benefits from adding Google+ Authorship or Publisher markup to your website? Please share in the comments!

Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of India’s leading search marketing agency PageTraffic. You can follow him at twitter @navneetkaushal.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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  • Shawn Lippert

    According to my google analytics the clickthrough rates have dramatically risen where authorship shows up in the search results. It works!

    • Sahil

      Google authorship markup does help an individaul writer or blogger to get personal exposure online, help a brand get more personalised and engaging visitors to the site, build his/her author rank etc.

  • shirish bobade

    But before applying to authorship, what is the ideal number of domain authority(DA) required ??

  • Jason Thalman

    Great information. I need to get on this ASAP.

  • Nizam Khan

    Excellent and very useful resource on Google authorship. Well, claiming Google authorship is essential to build authority and to increase CTR. Thanks for sharing and tweeted 🙂

  • Oliver Carding

    Since I’ve begun using authorship on content we’ve written I’ve seen huge improvements with both CTR and also time on site. The same applies to sites I have marked up with schema. I’m looking forward to seeing even more benefits from using both.

  • Sachin Bhutani

    Great, I just did it. Every blogger, not only blogger but website owner must have verified owner for the content.

  • Brandon

    Really like this quote:

    “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

  • George

    This is something that we all miss out to do. Google Plus Authorship badges can really bring in more relevancy to its search results.

  • Dhana Seelan

    Great tips for claiming ownership of the content we write and also it helps in Brand Promotion.

  • Derek Fischer

    Considering the relevance of authorship to the search results it would seem that Google should be promoting this as a means of indicating potentially high quality content much more than they are. It is a big change to the way that the search engine works and can only be effective when there is a large enough database to draw on when assembling the SERPs. It begs the question of how soon will the black hats try to game this new ranking tool.

  • Dan

    I have added the publisher badge to the bottom of our site

    Does this matter as the badge shows up on all pages, not just the homepage?

    Rich snippets tool gives positive result when testing homepage and any page.

    Many Thanks in advance.

  • Lyle Fredette

    Thanks for this clearly laid out post. I’m definitely liking the potential benefits, and now that I understand it better it just seems silly not to take advantage of a quick improvement like this.

  • Shruti

    What about a blog with multiple authors? In the way you have explained, chances are there that Google will show a guest author as the primary author of the blog, along with the blog name in the SERPs. What to do in such a case? Can we add a link to our Google+ profile with the rel=”author” parameter, in the footer of our blog and then link to the site from our G+ profile. Will it work that way?

    • Shawn Lippert

      If you have added the Relative Author code to your website or blog then all you need to add is the by-line, for instance “By Shruti” at the end of each post. I added this to the footer of my website so each page that is published will automatically have the by-line. A blog or website can have multiple publishers as long as you have the code installed and is linked to each Google+ profile respectively.

  • Amelia

    What about verifying the publisher rich snippet on a subdomain?

    I am having trouble with the testing tool, I keep getting this error: This is not a verified publisher markup.

    Is it a problem if I have this at the end of the profile id “/posts”? Has anyone else had issues with branded ids and this tool?