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What is the new Google Author markup, and how can I use it to build up a reputation as an online writer?

How could it possibly work? Using self-declared information has been tried before and of course led to spamming and other problems.

Context.

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This might be better suited for the Webmasters.SE site. –  Steven Drennon Sep 7 '11 at 15:37
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@Steven: I agree, although blogging etc. are on topic here, so I don't think migration is necessary. –  Standback Sep 7 '11 at 16:46
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This is on-topic here. Jeff thinks, at least, that cross-site duplication is OK where topics overlap. That, and the second part of the question, while it needs to be tightened up, is more than Google alone is likely to provide quickly. –  justkt Sep 7 '11 at 16:56
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The edit is a significant improvement; downvote joyously withdrawn :) –  Standback Sep 7 '11 at 17:20
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1 Answer

The author mark-up is relatively simple.

An example:

Written by <a rel="author" href="http://www.example.com/peter-mortensen">Peter Mortensen</a>.

This notifies to search engines that the text being linked with is the author, and the URL is the author's page.

The author's page must reside on the same website as the author's content. So it doesn't make much sense to link to the author's page from a site where there is no content written by you.

You can link from your author page on one site to your other author pages on other websites by using rel="me" instead of rel="author".

See here for more in-depth info: http://searchengineland.com/google-adds-authorship-rich-snippet-markup-80455

As for how you can use it to build your reputation, you're notifying Google what articles you've written, and where, as well us helping Google find information about you as an author. So next time someone searches for "Peter Mortensen", it may just help you collate all the data together so Google knows this stuff was all written by the same person.

Edit: An interesting addendum to make. While digging around, I found an interview with Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson talking about it, and Hansson suggests that the rel="author" tag may also introduce a signal for credibility, and increasing the ranking of a website: "we hope to use this information and any information as a ranking signal at Google…in this case we’d want to get information on the credibility of authors, from all kinds of sources, and eventually we’ll use that in ranking. We’re only experimenting with that now, who knows where it will go".

Also worth mentioning is that authors' photos appear in Google search results.

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I see problems with impersonification and spamming, but would the idea of having a master author page on your own domain and reciprocal links to author pages on websites prevent it? –  Peter Mortensen Sep 7 '11 at 12:58
    
I would say it won't prevent it, but I would imagine that Google would factor in a number of signals to try and counteract this. You'll probably find they'll want reciprocal links between e.g. author pages and the article pages, or between the various author pages. The article I linked to also notes "I do not know if Google will just pick up the markup and trust it or if Google has to whitelist your site to be approved for this markup". –  Craig Sefton Sep 7 '11 at 13:55
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I think there's some crucial steps missing as regards the Google author markup, since I believe you also need a Google Profile (or Google+ About Page)... 1. Articles link to the About page on your site. 2. About page on your site links to your Google Profile. 3. Google profile links back to the About page on your site. The loop is closed. –  w3d Sep 9 '11 at 17:01
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@w3d is 100% correct. I have implemented what the question described, but needed to do everything mentioned by w3d. It works very well though. –  Feral Oink Oct 7 '12 at 16:32
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