Further to Econsultancy's interview with myself and the rest of the 3 Door Digital directors earlier this week, I thought I'd share a good example of exposure that can be applied directly into SERPs.

Last week I was performing some keyword research when I came across something interesting. I have found only one example of this SERP and I'd be interested to see if anyone can replicate it with other terms.

What I found

I was performing some dental related keyword research when I noticed this rel="author" tag embedded within a local result:

I can see this within both .com and .co.uk results with 'pws=0' inserted. I've of course seen the rel="author" tag appear within SERPs of regular organic results but not within a local entry of a SERP specifically.

What we can see

I tested the homepage for the rel=”author” tag and see that it has been implemented correctly. As well as this, the local entry when hovered shows places information such as a score rating, reviews, map pointer and place page images. The Google Local page shows full information on its own Google Local page.

I then noticed something else – a difference between the .com and .co.uk SERP. Notice here that there is a link directing you to more by [name]:

Clicking this result takes me to an author related SERP – complete with knowledge graph:

You can see this SERP here but only seems to appear within google.com at the moment. I tried the exact same query within google.co.uk and was met with a message saying:


But wait, there's more…

Looking at the difference between the two SERPs above, I also noticed this line at the top of .com's SERP:

Learn more about how authors appear in search - Google Authorship

The link takes me to a dedicated Google Authorship Verification page within Google+:

This page I have seen before but is good to see that there are easy steps for non-techies to adopt in order to achieve successful rel="author" implementation.

This is a very simple process but not sure if it can help any further than the usual rel=”author” implementation we have all been doing previously.

What we can assume

From all of this it seems that Google is ramping up author integration into local organic SERPs. This tells us that Google+ profiles are becoming more relevant for exposure and, whether you like it or not, it will become more important to have a presence within Google+ in order to help expose your organic exposure.

Alex Moss

Published 6 August, 2012 by Alex Moss

Alex Moss is Director at Firecask and a contributor to Econsultancy. Find him on TwitterGoogle+ and Linkedin

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Comments (10)

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Toni Aničić

I'm sure Google will try to force the use of rel=author in any type of content that has an author. I wouldn't be surprised if with time we'll be able to markup the comments and social interactions we have all over the web with our author "stamp". If I was Google, I'd love to know the author of each piece of content since it would be a massive improvement in terms of serving the best possible results for the user's queries in the SERP.

about 6 years ago


Pritesh Patel

So does this mean rel=publisher will be obselete?

Interesting observation.

about 6 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

I've spotted this. Here's an interesting example from the other day:


Interestingly, I had a poke through the code & could not see any instances of 'rel="author"' or any ref to his Google+ profile.

about 6 years ago

Alex Moss

Alex Moss, Director at FireCask

@Pritish - I'm not so sure as this will be just as useful to Google+ pages to connect within the SERPs (I've seen how following G+ pages can markup certain SERPs without any other coding

@Dan that's brilliant! Rel author doesn't always have to be in the code. I've seen youtube videos embedded directly into SERPs with no markup whatsoever that changes merely is you have a G+ page in your circles.

about 6 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

thanks, Alex: In that particular example - how's it associating the page with him? Simply his name on the page & confirmation of his relationship with the overall site via G+?

about 6 years ago


Mike Zaremba

Nice find! I help run local seo for a group of doc's and it will be nice to have some evidence that they each need to claim their Google+ profile.

about 6 years ago



Nice feature, but my quick test doesn't show me the same result. If I click on the name, google gives me google+ page.

about 6 years ago

Ruth Cheesley

Ruth Cheesley, Director at Virya Technologies Ltd.

Hi folks,

Just to chime in here, I've been banging on about this for a while about how Google is going to start attributing content to a G+ profile, hurrah it is finally happening!

While it can be done via the rel="author" it's also important to consider the general increasing emphasis on the use of microdata/RDFa to identify not only people but other important identifiers.

As an example, Joomla Specialist is something I've been working on organic ranking for over the past six months or so on and off, and I started on around page 10. We also added microdata to our blogs recently, and I noticed my Ecademy profile appearing on the first page.

I did a bit more work linking up some other blogs I post on and ensuring the microdata was included and a link to my G+, Twitter, LinkedIn profile etc, and they all started appearing (search for joomla specialist Ruth Cheesley as an example).

I also recently started to see the 'More by Ruth Cheesley' - but that doesn't necessarily appear all the time, I thought perhaps it only appears if you're specifically searching for a person, but then when I searched for the title of one of my sites 'joomla specialist open source evangelist' it appeared against that link in the listings too, so not entirely sure on that yet.

In my humble opinion, microdata/RDFa is going to become far more important in the coming years, here are some useful links:

Google webmasters help: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176035

W3C working draft

Tool for checking 'Rich Snippets'
http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets and result for my Ecademy profile: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ecademy.com%2Fuser%2Fruthcheesleyjoomlaspecialist

Hope this is helpful, I feel a blog post coming on!


about 6 years ago



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about 6 years ago


Website Design Company Delhi

Informative Blog on rel author tag...

Thanks for Sharing !!

over 5 years ago

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