How to best use the Google Authorship tag

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How should we be using the Google Authorship tag?

Google has recently released answers to the most frequently asked advanced Google Authorship questions in a bid to help webmasters use the tag correctly.

The post offers insight into a number of topics, including the types of pages the authorship tag can be used on, multiple authorship issues and the difference between author and publisher.

Maile Ohye, developer programs tech lead at Google, has said: "Using authorship helps searchers discover great information by highlighting content from authors who they might find interesting. If you're an author, signing up for authorship will help users recognize content that you've written."

Through the correct implementation of the Google authorship tag, authors have the opportunity to increase the visibility of their pages in search results and benefit from an increased click-through rate, particularly if they are highly regarded industry figures.

Google Authorship guidance

With regards to the right usage of the authorship tag, Google outlined that webmasters are best to add an annotation for:

  • Pages containing a single article rather than a list of articles
  • Human beings as opposed to company mascots
  • One Google+ profile in your preferred language
  • One Google+ profile for one article

The guide also offers a reminder that the publisher and author tag are for different purposes, with the rel=publisher tag being designed to link a business and Google+ page. It also highlighted that the authorship tag should not be used for property or product listings.

Rachel Hand, head of content at theEword, said: "The Google authorship tag gives good writers the opportunity to become more visible in search rankings. The FAQs and answers outlined by Google should be able to help more authors take advantage of the tag, further promoting high quality content across the web."

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