Scobleizer's about link, that should have rel="author"

rel=”author” and rel=”me” in WP and other platforms

rel=”author” and rel=”me” in WP and other platforms

The recent changes from Google and my post about it regarding the highlighting of authors in search caused quite a few questions. People have been asking me how to do specific things and how to make certain elements contain rel=”author” or rel=”me”. Instead of replying to each of those emails and comments I decided to write one post which “has it all”.

Update August 23rd, 2011: Google has made a simpler version available to those of you who are not able to follow the instructions below. It is still recommended that you do in fact follow the instructions below if you have the appropriate access to the blog you’re trying to do this on, if not, please follow the instructions I added at the bottom of this post. I also updated screenshots and added two video’s with explanations. Let me know if you have more questions in the comments, I’ve updated the date of this post so it will pop up again in your reader.

Update June 8th, 2012: we’ve found an even easier way to add author highlighting to your site. Check out how to push rel=”author” through a <link> element in the <head>.

I did see some more examples pop up, for example, when I searched for [highlighting authors], both this post from Matt Cutts (on highlighting authors in the comments) and this post from Gina Trapani got an author highlight.

Apparently, yes, it is. It’s quite logical for Google to want a link from your Google profile to your author page, it makes 100% sure that you are indeed the author of that piece of content when you link to your Google Profile and back from your Google Profile to your author page. Of course the link to your Google Profile wouldn’t be 100% needed for this, I don’t know whether Google will keep this requirement.

The flow should thus be as follows: article links to author page on the same domain. The author page on the same domain links to the Google Profile. The Google profile, in turn, links back to the author page.

So you are not, as some people suggested, meant to link to your Google Profile straight from the article, instead, you should link to your author page on the domain you published the article at and that page in turn should link to your Google Profile and be linked from your Google Profile.

One of the issues that came up with is that some people don’t want to show the author on each and every post when the author on that blog is always one single person. Those people will usually have an “about” page linked in their site’s main navigation, for instance, Robert Scoble, on his blog Scobleizer:

Scobleizer's about link, that should have rel="author"

That “about” link could very easily be used to identify him as the author of each and every post, to Google, if it had rel="author" sticked to it. Turns out that this is actually very easy to do if you use the WordPress menu editor.

Go to the Menus page and in the top right, click on screen options:

WordPress Screen Options Link

Once you click that link, it’ll fold out, and the display options will show, including “Link Relationship (XFN)”, be sure to check that box:

Once that box is checked, you can edit your menu item to include the link relationship “author” which will cause it to get rel=”author” added to it:

Custom Menu element, be sure to just add author, this will cause rel=author to be added to the linkBe sure to just add “author” (without the quotes) this is enough to make sure the link will have rel=”author” added to it.

How to allow authors to add rel=”me” to links in their bio’s

If you update your bio on a WordPress blog you write on to contain a link to your Google Profile and want to add rel="me", you’ll come to the conclusion that WordPress strips out all the rel elements from links. Why it does that is beyond me, I’ve already opened a Trac ticket and created a patch to allow it. Until that is in core though (if it makes it in), you’ll need to allow it yourself. To do that, simply add this to your site’s functions.php file or functionality plugin:

function yoast_allow_rel() {
	global $allowedtags;
	$allowedtags['a']['rel'] = array ();
add_action( 'wp_loaded', 'yoast_allow_rel' );

This will allow all rel values to be used, nofollow as well. You could tighten this more but I doubt you’ll need it.

How to allow authors to set their Google Profile URL

If you don’t want authors to add the link to their bio but would rather give them an input field to enter their Google Profile URL, you’ll need to hook into the contact methods functions of WordPress. First, tell WordPress you want to add the Google Profile contact method:

function yoast_add_google_profile( $contactmethods ) {
	// Add Google Profiles
	$contactmethods['google_profile'] = 'Google Profile URL';
	return $contactmethods;
add_filter( 'user_contactmethods', 'yoast_add_google_profile', 10, 1);

This will add an input field on their edit profile page below the default AIM, Yahoo and Google Talk / Jabber contact methods:

Google Profile URL input field

Second, in your theme’s author.php file, the author template, you need to add a bit of code to output this new URL:

$google_profile = get_the_author_meta( 'google_profile' );
if ( $google_profile ) {
	echo '&lt;a href=&quot;' . esc_url($google_profile) . '&quot; rel=&quot;me&quot;&gt;Google Profile&lt;/a&gt;';

Of course you can style this in any way you want, show it in a list, etc. Here on, for instance, I replaced the default contactmethods with Facebook, Twitter and the Google Profile.

How to change the author URL

If for one or more authors on your blog you want to change their default author URL, you could do something like this:

function yoast_change_author_link( $link, $author_id, $author ) {
  if ( 'admin' == $author )
    return '';
  return $link;
add_filter( 'author_link', 'yoast_change_author_link', 10, 3 );

This would change the author URL for the author with username “admin” to, you should of course change this to what you need in your specific case. This should work with most themes, if it doesn’t with your theme, let me know what theme you’re using and I’ll try to come up with a solution.

How can I test whether my rel=”author” implementation works

Once you’ve added one of this bits above, you probably want to test whether it’s working. To do that, use Google’s Rich Snippets testing tool. You can find an example report showing that my implementation is correct here. See the screenshot:

Now don’t forget to take the last step, keep on reading below the simple version!!

An explanation video from Google

After this post Google’s Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson did a video on the topic, feel free to watch it here:

Update: the simpler version

Because not everyone either has the technical knowledge and/or the actual access to their sites to be able to accomplish the above, Google has made a simpler alternative. I don’t know whether this alternative will work forever, it does work now though. It’s quite simple, just follow these steps:

  1. Find your Google Profile URL, copy paste it.
  2. Create a link to that profile URL, and add this ?rel=author to the end of the URL.
  3. As an anchor text, use your full name with a +, in my case the anchor text would be: +Joost de Valk
  4. Go to the last step, below the video embedded below.

The full HTML of my profile link would look like this (line break just to make it easier to read, you shouldn’t have that):

&lt;a href=&quot;
/about?rel=author&quot;&gt;+Joost de Valk&lt;/a&gt;

Of course, there’s a video explaining this version too:

Last (but important!) step

Whichever version of the code you used, be sure to submit your details through this form. You probably won’t get an email back but at some point it (might) suddenly start working!

rel=”author” + rel=”me” actually works!

To show that the markup above works (I use the complete version, not the simple version):

rel=me / rel=author search in Google showing my author highlight

127 Responses to rel=”author” and rel=”me” in WP and other platforms

  1. Cindy Lawson
    By Cindy Lawson on 12 September, 2011


    I have my own website on WordPress and as I am the only one who writes on it I followed Google’s latest advice and put a g+ button onto the site as a widget so it would appear on every page automatically and link back to my profile. However it still doesn’t work as it should with regards to the rel=author stuff. I tested a link to one of my articles using the Rich Snippets tool, and it just keeps telling me:

    “This page has both rel=author and rel=me links. Please do not use rel=me links for a non-profile page.” (even though I have no other links apart from my g+ button which was generated using the tool on Google’s own site, and is certainly not rel=me)

    and then further down it says:

    linked author profile =
    Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=me link to a Google Profile” (which is not supposed to be necessary if you are using the g+ button and are the sole contributor on the site according to

    I am at my wits end with this and have spent over four hours trying to solve the problem numerous ways, including not using the g+ button at all and instead following the advice here that says to check the ‘link relationship (xfn) option and then add ‘author’ to the box that now appears under the ‘About Me’ information in the Menu settings.

    Whichever way I do it I get the same error messages in the Rich Snippets Tool results, and I don’t know how to solve it. Can you help me at all please.




  2. Tricia Meyer
    By Tricia Meyer on 5 September, 2011

    This is the most comprehensive post that I have seen on the topic so far! I’m still a little confused whether and where the “+” is needed in the text because I am seeing conflicting views (and most say it isn’t needed at all…yet the form asks about it).

    I installed this plugin a few days ago for Thesis:

    Unfortunately, I’m still waiting around to get approved before I can tell if actually worked. The Rich Snippets Testing tool shows it worked but I’m not going to count on it until I see the search results with my picture.

  3. Scott
    By Scott on 4 September, 2011

    Thanks. This was helpful. I read two other older articles as well but couldn’t publish comments there- appreciate the free consulting! :-)

  4. Robert Dempsey
    By Robert Dempsey on 2 September, 2011

    First thanks to Yoast for doing this post – very awesome of you. Can’t wait to see more of this in the WordPress SEO plugin.

    Second, we’ve had a plugin developed for everyone using the Genesis theme. It implements Yoast’s code and turns your name in the author box into a rel=”author” link to your Google+ profile.

    You can grab the plugin on today’s post: Free rel=”author” Plugin For Genesis Theme Users

  5. Kim Norvard
    By Kim Norvard on 1 September, 2011

    If you have multiple authors, you will have to add rel="author" to the link leading to the author’s page.

    I’m not sure this is made clear from this article.
    If so, I have missed it time and time again.

    I struggled a lot to figure out why our articles weren’t being picked up, but adding that to solved everything.

  6. Dharmesh
    By Dharmesh on 1 September, 2011

    Can someone help me to figure out why the Rich Snippet tool is extracting the author page as

    Please advise.


  7. Carlos
    By Carlos on 29 August, 2011

    I have a duplicate email problem with Google+. (a) I used my gmail account to originally set up my Google Profile page several months ago. If I use this gmail address, when I click the “+1” button for an article, the article and +1 is recorded on the Google Profile page. (b)I set up my Google+ account using my Yahoo email address. If I log in using this address when I click the like “+1′ button for an article, then it gets listed in my Google+ profile page. (c)So I have different articles with “+1” showing up on different pages, some on Google Profile pages and some on Google+ profile pages. Can I somehow merge these pages? If not, how can I fix this problem?

  8. Miriam
    By Miriam on 29 August, 2011

    Ummm there is no authors.php to put that code to add the Google Plus box, I looked at anything close to it and there is only admins.php but it seems like there is no place for that code. So where do I put the code to add my profile?

  9. Yasir
    By Yasir on 29 August, 2011

    Thanks, really needed that info to implement it on my blog.

  10. Carlos
    By Carlos on 29 August, 2011

    I’m confused. Are we supposed to link to the Google Profile page or to the Google+ page? If we’re supposed to link to the Google+ page, then how are we supposed to merge the Google Profile page with the Google+ page?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 29 August, 2011

      You’re supposed to link to your Google Profile page, which is now a part of Google+. Check this site for how it’s implemented, you know that works :)

      • Carlos
        By Carlos on 29 August, 2011

        Thanks, Joost. That solves my question. I was confused by the duplication between the old Google profile page and the Google+ page. I’m still curious why my old Google profile page is independent from my Google+ profile page. The old Google profile page even allows me to add “+1’s” to posts just like my Google+ profile page.

  11. Master.AK
    By Master.AK on 29 August, 2011

    thanks that was perfect

  12. Courtney Engle
    By Courtney Engle on 28 August, 2011

    I too encountered the “Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=me link to a Google Profile”. i tried both the long and simple versions with the same results. I have my Google +1s and profile links all public, and the top link is to my domain. I’m sending my author info to /speaking. Ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 29 August, 2011

      On your speaking page you’re using rel=author on the link, whereas you should have rel=”me” on the anchor…

      • Courtney Engle
        By Courtney Engle on 29 August, 2011

        Thanks. I’ve tried both ways. I also tried the long and also simple directions. I just switched to =me, and pinged Rich Snippet tool again with no change in the error message. I’ll check back in a few hours to see if it switched yet.

  13. Felipe Veiga
    By Felipe Veiga on 28 August, 2011

    Amazing explanation, loved your post. It is simple, but differently from before, we should now put our faces in our blogs, really claim authorship and be respected for what we write.

    Someday I just hope to have my face along posts, just like Pete from Mashable and so on.

  14. Abdullah Al Mamun
    By Abdullah Al Mamun on 28 August, 2011

    Great article. I wasn’t concerned about this before.

  15. Morten
    By Morten on 26 August, 2011

    Again an awesome post. This is really a cool feature.

    Thanks alot :-)

  16. Dharmesh
    By Dharmesh on 26 August, 2011

    I am using the “Modernist” theme and when I run the Google Snippet tool the author page it points to is like below

    Extracted Author for this page
    linked author profile =
    Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=me link to a Google Profile (learn more)

    I have followed all the steps in the article and got it to work on my other blog but not this one.

    Any ideas how can I change it?

    Please help.


  17. Steve Krause
    By Steve Krause on 26 August, 2011

    As always, awesome post and thanks once again for contributing so much to the WordPress community!


  18. Siddharth
    By Siddharth on 26 August, 2011

    Does this mean that I will need to use my real name on every website that I have? In other words, I want to use my name only on my personal website, and for my review/commercial website, I want to use a pen name. Is it possible to do that with a single Google profile?

  19. Bima
    By Bima on 25 August, 2011

    I have multiple authors, can i use these tips?
    basically, my theme doesn’t support “Link Relationship (XFN)” but finally i can fix it and i try to applied the code, but not resolved.. i have use Theme Name: BlogNews
    from .. may u help me please..

  20. Craig Cacchioli
    By Craig Cacchioli on 25 August, 2011

    Thanks. I would not have known to do this without your help. The setting is very well hidden within WordPress so let’s hope they change this soon.

  21. Sue Surdam
    By Sue Surdam on 25 August, 2011

    Thanks for the great article. I am sure I wouldn’t have figured out this process on my own.

  22. Stijn
    By Stijn on 25 August, 2011

    Do you think I could add this as re=”me author nofollow” ?

  23. Wilmer
    By Wilmer on 25 August, 2011

    Thanks for the info, but I did not take much importance the issue of copyright, since you mentioned that is important to Google, I have to do steps that are teaching eses.

  24. Fabrizio Castagnotto
    By Fabrizio Castagnotto on 24 August, 2011


    I implemented this some time ago after reading your article.

    Everything seems OK on the Rich Snippet Testing Tool:

    but the image does not show up in search results.

    I also inserted a request on the Google Spreadsheet linked above.

    After more than 1 month, still nothing. What could be wrong? :(

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 24 August, 2011

      Well to be honest, nothing is wrong, it looks good. I do know though that Google wants you to use a headshot for that profile picture, so I’d suggest changing that. They asked me to change my normal avatar into a photo of myself before they enabled it. Do realize that at the moment this is still very much a manual vetting process on the side of Google too though, so it might take some time!

      • Fabrizio Castagnotto
        By Fabrizio Castagnotto on 26 August, 2011

        I changed my profile pic and re-submitted the request to Google.

        Hope they will get in touch with me this time.

        Or maybe there is a lot of people now asking for this and they are waiting to implement an automated process before accepting new authors.

        Anyone got into this in the last month?

  25. Ralph Averbuch
    By Ralph Averbuch on 24 August, 2011

    Hi Joost

    Re-looked again at the chain of dependencies you allude to e.g. article links to author page, author page to Google profile and that profile in turn links back to my author page.

    In my case I’ve done all of the above and checked all the links, yet my mugshot isn’t appearing next to my articles in Google.

    Am I being thick and missing something obvious?

    Here’s a relevant example:

    Article page…

    Links to Author page…

    In turn links to Google Profile page…

    When then links back to author page…

    Any ideas what bit I’m not doing right?



    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 24 August, 2011

      Hi Ralph, if you check the snippets testing tool:

      you’ll see it gives two errors:

      1. the link to the author page is wrong (it redirects the last / out of it)
      2. the link to your Google Profile is lacking rel=”me”.

      • Ralph
        By Ralph on 24 August, 2011

        Thanks Joost

        Worked! At least it did in the webmaster tools preview – not seeing it in the actual search results, though I note it says there’s no guarantees it will be used in main results.

        But at least it’s there and works should it be used in the future.

        Thanks and all the best,


  26. Pawe? Zinkiewicz
    By Pawe? Zinkiewicz on 24 August, 2011

    Thanks! Works like a charm, finally :)

  27. Eddie G
    By Eddie G on 2 August, 2011

    Thanks for getting me through this one, man. Almost nobody knows anything about this. The few who know are unable to explain it. Ya done good!

  28. Cindy
    By Cindy on 2 August, 2011

    As an author, I am not sure how to add the tag to pieces I submit using wo

  29. Jo Shaer
    By Jo Shaer on 31 July, 2011

    Hey Joost, Sadly the Yoast rel fix does not work on Atahualpa. It makes the functions.php file very unhappy and we had to upload a clean version to make the site work again. However, I got both my other sites on different themes to work so thank you :)

  30. Jodi Ann Miller
    By Jodi Ann Miller on 30 July, 2011

    I got “Warning: The information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because the marked-up content does not appear to be the main focus of the page. More information. (Is this correct? Let us know.)”. Anyone have thoughts on what happened?

  31. Miloš Lekovi?
    By Miloš Lekovi? on 29 July, 2011

    I found the solution. If you type in Rich snippets testing tool just your website name, it will not work. But if you type “http://” before, it will. Now it works for me. Great article, thanks!

    • Sophie Hovdekorp
      By Sophie Hovdekorp on 1 August, 2011

      This works for me too – thanks for the tip

  32. Blake
    By Blake on 29 July, 2011

    Try linking from a menu and check that box he says to check instead of linking from a single post. If you just want it for one post I have no idea about a solution…

  33. Miloš Lekovi?
    By Miloš Lekovi? on 29 July, 2011

    I did all that, and it doesn’t work. Says:
    Extracted Author for this page
    linked author profile =
    google profile =
    Error: Google Profile does not link to article site (learn more)

    Why Google doesn’t link my Profile to article site? I checked that checkbox “This page is specifically about me”. Link on single post to about page with rel=”author”, link to google profile from about page with rel=”me” . Pasted all that code you wrote. What should I do? Thanks.

  34. Kin
    By Kin on 29 July, 2011

    Hi, how about if the theme has its default Menus for Nav Bar? And it dont needs to set up Menu Bar? I need your answer! Thank you so much!

  35. Gary Earle
    By Gary Earle on 29 July, 2011

    Oh well.So much for any help in this joint…I guess this post must be old news now..sheesh…

  36. Gary Earle
    By Gary Earle on 28 July, 2011

    Ok Joost…

    FOUND IT…Now…as seems I DONT have theme that natively supports MENUS……

    This is what it says…

    The current theme does not natively support menus, but you can use the “Custom Menu” widget to add any menus you create here to the theme’s sidebar.

    CRAp..I SOOOOO suck at this!!!

    Flexsqueeze is my theme…

    Joost..I think YOU should make a PLUG IN that does this!!!!

    ID PAY FOR IT!!!…..because I dont want to sh*tcan my theme!!


    ANY HELP..from anyone..would be dearly appreciated


    and by the way..arrived here via Michelle McPhearsons post regarding this…

    • Gary B
      By Gary B on 29 July, 2011

      if your theme doesn’t support WordPress custom menus – get a better theme.

      • Gary Earle
        By Gary Earle on 29 July, 2011

        Gary any suggestions??…..I have a theme called Flexsqueeze..the initial version costs 76 bucks..NOT cheap..BUT it can be highly customized and it looks pretty!!..FOOK getting a new theme…Ive got 15 sites running…screw that idea

        • Esther Lespernace
          By Esther Lespernace on 31 July, 2011

          Hi Gary Earle
          I’m using Flexsqueeze as well. Have you learned how to do this? Any Ideas? The author tag is important and I’d like to add it!

    • Blake
      By Blake on 29 July, 2011

      First, create an “About Me” page that links to your Google profile page with a rel=”me” tag. Then create a custom menu that links to your “About Me” page with a rel=”author” tag (he shows how to make the rel=”author” tag in the post). Finally, go to the widget page in your dashboard and put a custom menu widget in the sidebar.

      Hope this helps :)


      • Gary Earle
        By Gary Earle on 29 July, 2011

        Blake..Thank YOU!!!

        I was good up till the Menu stuff..Then I was flummoxed!! because my screen wasn’t looking like Yoasts and I panicked!!..YIKES!!..ahhhh….custom menu widget!!..OK!!..THAT I can do!! Thank YOu..Thank You..Thank you!!


        • Blake
          By Blake on 29 July, 2011

          Awesome guys. Glad I could help!

      • Onna @ Toddler Crafts
        By Onna @ Toddler Crafts on 29 July, 2011

        Blake!! Thank you so much, I was going crazy and i just needed to add that widget! Thanks so much! Now I just have to get my google profile linked!

  37. Gary Earle
    By Gary Earle on 28 July, 2011

    OMG..I feel so ignorant……HOW do I get to the MENUS page that you talk about??…Damn..Ive been clicking ALL over my DASHBOARD..Links..Posts…Pages…cant find The MENUS!!…Can someone .clue me in??…yeah..I know..I’m a NOOB!! and I need help!!


  38. Vheen
    By Vheen on 28 July, 2011

    Hi Yoast,

    I have the site that I want to use this rel=author. I am using Corporate Theme and I have found that there is default Nav Bar so it dont need Menus at all. Any help on this? Thank you so much!

  39. Steve Barker
    By Steve Barker on 27 July, 2011

    Hi Yoast,
    I really love reading your articles but this one I’m struggling to implement. Linked google to my web site OK but I’m using the Thesis theme and it seem to have automatically created an author page. (
    When I run the test tool, it returns the message
    Extracted Author for this page
    linked author profile =
    Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=me link to a Google Profile (learn more)

    As I didn’t create it and don’t know how to access that page to add the rel=me link to it?

    I would really appreciate your help and guidance to complete this.

  40. Robert Green
    By Robert Green on 27 July, 2011

    Thanks for a great article, I’m not sure I could of done it using just what Google post. Although I am confused when and why the photos show up. Are there rules Google follows to show the photos?

  41. Bradley
    By Bradley on 26 July, 2011


    I had to pass the author id to the get_the_author_meta() function call to get it to work.

    Like so:

    $google_profile = get_the_author_meta( 'google_profile', intval($author) );
    if ( $google_profile ) {
    echo '<a href="' . $google_profile . '" rel="nofollow">Google Profile</a>';

    Thanks for the tutorial/info.


  42. Charllotte
    By Charllotte on 26 July, 2011

    Hi Joost,

    How can I add author.php on my theme? Can I simply put the codes that I find in wordpress site that upload it on my theme folder? Please Help


  43. Rachelle Lucas
    By Rachelle Lucas on 26 July, 2011

    Got lost somewhere in the middle of the instructions …

    Did the first step and added the Link Relationship (XFN) rel=”author”

    Added the rel=”me” code to the functions.php as it’s listed.

    The Google Profle input field is now appearing under the contact info.

    Here’s where I’m stuck … My theme doesn’t seem to have an author.php file for that final step. Could it be under a different title? I’m using a Woo theme, delicious magazine. I’m still getting this error: “Error: Author profile page does not have a rel=me link to a Google Profile”


    Thank you for your help!

  44. Fabrizio Castagnotto
    By Fabrizio Castagnotto on 26 July, 2011

    Great :)

    Are you planning on releasing a plugin to help implementing this on our WordPress sites? :)

  45. Raama
    By Raama on 25 July, 2011

    It’s so cool but my website is not a wordpress site, nor is based on any other CMS.. It’s independent. Will it work on my site and how I can do it? Thanks

  46. Onna @ Toddler Crafts
    By Onna @ Toddler Crafts on 25 July, 2011

    I followed the tutorial, which is great thank you! I am having trouble though. My theme doesn’t support menus, so I made a custom menu for my author page. I put in the code, but it is not showing up in the source code. Any ideas? I do have a plugin that puts no follows in, but I wouldn’t think that would stop the code from going in. help!

  47. Paul / MyPostcardFrom
    By Paul / MyPostcardFrom on 25 July, 2011

    Do you know how long does it take to display a picture within the search results.

    I noticed that you appear when searching as per your example above.

    I’ve tested on the Rich Snippets Testing Tool which works perfectly but my image doesn’t show yet on search results.

  48. Shubhan Chemburkar
    By Shubhan Chemburkar on 25 July, 2011

    All my post have a default author page as but i cannot cahne or modify it to add a rel=”me” link . Can anyone help?

  49. Blake
    By Blake on 24 July, 2011

    Edit: I managed to get everything working. I filled out the form to get accepted, but do not really expect to. It seems to only be for review sites and the likes, not informational sites. I only have one review on my site :(

    How fast did this site get accepted?

  50. Jimmy Thakkar
    By Jimmy Thakkar on 23 July, 2011

    I tried 2 different styles both the times i got :

    “Warning: This information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results results, because it seems to describe an organization. Google does not currently display organization information in rich snippets”.

    I also got : “Warning: The information will not appear as a rich snippet in search results, because the marked-up content does not appear to be the main focus of the page. More information. (Is this correct? Let us know.)”

    What am i missing ?

    Jimmy Thakkar

  51. Blake
    By Blake on 23 July, 2011

    I am trying to add this to my site, but found that I do not have an “author.php” file in my theme. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • Dereck
      By Dereck on 31 July, 2011

      Hey Blake,

      I had the same problem. Turns out that there is a hierchy within WordPress and if you don’t have an “author.php”, then WordPress will default to either “index.php” or “archive.php”

  52. Brian
    By Brian on 23 July, 2011

    For whatever reason I can’t seem to find my authors page in dashboard. Any suggestions on where I should be looking for it?

    • Blake
      By Blake on 23 July, 2011

      I believe the page you are looking for is titled “Users” in the dashboard.

  53. Sangram Nandkhile
    By Sangram Nandkhile on 23 July, 2011

    Hi..nice article..
    Is there any way if i can use it for my BLOGGER/ blogspot blogs ?

    I searched but could not find any..


  54. Dave
    By Dave on 23 July, 2011

    Okay, I am the newbie here and when I log in to the back end I do not even see the section that shows ” Show advanced properties.” I have the most recent updated version of wp installed. Any suggestions or tips to how I can see the advanced features?

  55. Michelle
    By Michelle on 23 July, 2011

    Adding that line of code to my functions.php file screwed up my site. I now can’t even log into WordPress. It’s fixed now but I think the theme I was using hated the addition to the code. A nice, easy plugin for this function would be great.

  56. Rose Cox
    By Rose Cox on 23 July, 2011

    Excellent post, just got this working too. Thanks Joost and thanks Michelle for leading me to this post!

  57. Michelle MacPhearson
    By Michelle MacPhearson on 23 July, 2011

    Just got this going tonight in a big post on Google+, rel=me and the +1 button (and linked to this post as well). Thanks Joost!

    • GaryEarle
      By GaryEarle on 28 July, 2011

      Michelle…yes..I read this ON your blog..(on your list)

      BUT..damn…what if you have a theme that ..and I quote..

      “The current theme does not natively support menus, but you can use the “Custom Menu” widget to add any menus you create here to the theme’s sidebar.”

      Yes..I know..I SUCK at stuff like this..BUT I soooo want to get this going…omg..I have such a headache…

      Maybe YOU can convince someone to design a plug in to do this!!!…add the code and such…YOU have far reaching powers!!! and by the way..meant as a sincere compliment


  58. Peter Crowell
    By Peter Crowell on 21 July, 2011

    Hi again!

    Just saw the “How to change the author URL” section you added. Thanks!

    Does that bit of code go in the functions.php file?

    Also, will changing the author url to point to my about page fulfill the requirement?

    I’ve got the code pointing to my google profile on my about page. I’ve got my Google proflie pointing to my about page. Now, all that’s lacking is to point each post to my about page, right?

    I appreciate your patience!

  59. Peter Crowell
    By Peter Crowell on 21 July, 2011

    Thanks for the great tutorial.

    I’m a LITTLE confused, however.

    I’ve linked from profile to author page and vice versa. I have the google + button in my sidebar. How do I get the rel=”me” into every post?

    Can I just change the url destination of my name in the byline?

  60. George Coghill
    By George Coghill on 18 July, 2011

    Thanks for the tips on this! I’m seeing an issue: I added your code for allowing the rel=”me” tags, however it seems WordPress by default adds a rel=”nofollow” tag to outgoing links, which supersedes the manual rel=”me nofollow” tags I added to the (body) links on my about page:

    Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool also shows this page (and others) as an “empty page”:

    The following errors were found during preview generation:
    Empty page.
    Insufficient data to generate the preview.

    • George Coghill
      By George Coghill on 21 July, 2011

      Sorry for the duplicate replies, WordPress parsed my code each time.

      To follow up, it seems thatit was a glitch on Google’s end of things — my rel=”me” links are now showing up fine.

      The only issue I am seeing now is that the SGAPI recrawl tool isn’t registering my WordPress about page as linked to my Google Profile, which it most certainly is. All my other sites are working fine.

      I discovered that WordPress adds a rel=”nofollow” to each outgoing link, which sits at the beginning of each link code snippet, with the rel=”me” (after performing your tips) being added alter on in the link code. Could the positioning of the rel tags have something to do with this? Or should I be looking elsewhere?

      • George Coghill
        By George Coghill on 25 July, 2011

        Turns out I had a plugin that was adding nofollow to all external links. Oddly, after turning that off (and verifying in the View Source), I was able to get the Rich Snippets to verify my author page (and authorship on other pages), but the SGAPI tool still showed no link. A day or so later, Rich Snippets no longer saw the author links.

        Wondering if this has anything to do with the W3 Total Cache plugin. I flushed the cache each time, but didn’t seem to affect anything. I’m flummoxed.

        • Yusri
          By Yusri on 21 September, 2011

          Does do-follow has anything to do with it? Google should be able to crawl and index do-follow link?

    • George Coghill
      By George Coghill on 18 July, 2011

      Crud, it parsed the link; here is the code:

      Google Profile

    • George Coghill
      By George Coghill on 18 July, 2011

      Here is the HTML I see in View Source of the live page:

      Google Profile

  61. Thiago Prado
    By Thiago Prado on 14 July, 2011

    Awesome article. I followed exactly as it is and it worked fine!
    The only problem I found out is that when I tested it in Google’s Rich Snippets testing tool I got two results.
    One pointing to and the other one pointing to

    What can I do to fix this issue?

  62. George "Loki" Williams
    By George "Loki" Williams on 13 July, 2011

    I manage and contribute to a number of multi-author blogs. Instead of having a particular about page for each of us there is usually a “Meet the Team” page.

    My question is: will linking to the Anchor tag of a particular author within the page (i.e. ) allow multiple authors on one page that can be correctly verified by Google?

    Great article! (I’m referencing it in a post I’m working on now.)

  63. Justin Germino
    By Justin Germino on 13 July, 2011

    Added the author XFN to my menu for about page, but didn’t add the reference to “me” for author profiles yet, at this time I do have it set to rel=”author” for each of the authors articles via some manual modification in the WordPress single.php.

    Not all of my authors have Google profiles, it is presumptions for Google to assume everyone has one.

  64. Lorenz
    By Lorenz on 11 July, 2011

    Hi Joost, thanx for the tutorial. I’ve already implemented the rel=author, rel=me on my blog site (since 2 days ago), but it still wont appear on google search result page ( How long it will take to appear?

  65. Ronen Bekerman
    By Ronen Bekerman on 9 July, 2011

    Anyone else here implemented this method and can confirm it works for him? I’ve seen a reference somewhere that this feature is not rolled out fully to the general public – is that really true?

    Anyway – I did it all again from scratch and still can see any author photo next to my articles :(

    • Dharmesh
      By Dharmesh on 26 August, 2011

      Strangely I got it to work on one blog but not the other. Both are single author blogs.. Followed the exact same steps.. but for some reason the author page that Google finds on my blog is the RSS feed page :(

    • Dave Demuth
      By Dave Demuth on 15 July, 2011

      Ronen, I’m with you. Have it all set up correctly and the snippets tool confirms it. But for me, it’s probably for this reason:

      “The site has very few pages (or very few pages with marked-up structured data) and may not be picked up by Google’s Rich Snippets system.”

      as mentioned here.

  66. Ronen Bekerman
    By Ronen Bekerman on 9 July, 2011

    Did all that was detailed here, but how soon should I see the actual result on the search page? the rich snippets tool show’s that the author data is good and verified but no face shows on the right side of the search results.

  67. Sherif Fadel Fahmy
    By Sherif Fadel Fahmy on 8 July, 2011

    Thanks for the great article. I have successfully setup the About Me page, but I cannot get the author’s link on each post to link to my about me page. I have added the yoast_change_author_link code to my functions.php file to no avail. I am using the TwentyTen theme. Am I missing something here?

    • Sam Kear
      By Sam Kear on 8 July, 2011

      I was having the same problem and found that the user name in the if statement must be in lower case. I had the first letter capitalized and it didn’t work.

      eg: ‘admin’ and not ‘Admin’

      I’m using the Mystique theme and placed the code in functions.php

      • Dereck
        By Dereck on 31 July, 2011

        No sure what you mean by the “if” statement. I seem to still be having the problem.

  68. Alex M0rF3uS
    By Alex M0rF3uS on 8 July, 2011

    Hey Joost, as far as you might know, the author highlithing feature is limited to certain countries?

    Because, i write from italy, and i cannot see any of the author pictures in my searches, nor for my site, nor for your wordpress seo article neither for matt cutts blog too.

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 8 July, 2011

      it’s limited to .com I think

      • Alex M0rF3uS
        By Alex M0rF3uS on 8 July, 2011

        Yes you’re right, searching for reto meier’s blog into it works, not for instead, that’s sad :/

        thank you man, for all your great tips.

  69. Kristof
    By Kristof on 8 July, 2011

    In addition to implementing the above (thanks Yoast for the great info), there’s also a Google Authorship Request Form here to submit your Google profile. After which, Google can let you know of any implementation issues.

  70. Douglas Karr
    By Douglas Karr on 7 July, 2011

    Any plans of adding to the Yoast SEO plugin?

  71. Andrew
    By Andrew on 7 July, 2011

    Does this only work for sites that are built in wordpress or will it also work for php and asp sites?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 7 July, 2011

      It’ll work with all types of sites as long as the markup is correct and Google whitelists the author.

  72. Douglas Galbi
    By Douglas Galbi on 7 July, 2011

    By the way, yesterday I tried to post the above comment, but it was rejected as a duplicate comment. Strange.

  73. Douglas Galbi
    By Douglas Galbi on 7 July, 2011

    The Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool wants an “updated” date field under hentry. Without it, the Tool says:
    Warning: Missing required field “updated”.

    What if you don’t want to display a date on your author page? If searched around a bit on hcard. The basic idea of the microformat seems to be that computers and human see the same stuff. So does this mean that humans have to see a date on the author page?

    Here’s my simple author page:

    • Douglas Galbi
      By Douglas Galbi on 27 August, 2011

      From what I understand hiding text is bad form, but if you want to provide a non-visible updated date on your author page, add in the HTML editor this: August 27, 2011 (use the appropriate date, of course)

      • Douglas Galbi
        By Douglas Galbi on 27 August, 2011

        Ugh… HTML got stripped out. In short, wrap a date with a span element that includes class “updated” and style=’display:none’

  74. Robert
    By Robert on 6 July, 2011

    Hi, thanks for your post! My theme does not support the menu tab, so I can’t add “author”. How do I change the head section of just one specific page? In this case: only the section of the about me page?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 7 July, 2011

      You don’t. You need to make sure all your author links point to your about page with rel=”author”.

  75. frann leach
    By frann leach on 6 July, 2011

    What a lot of steps. It occurs to me that someone should set up a plugin for this. Unless you know of an existing plugin that will do it all?

  76. Paul
    By Paul on 5 July, 2011

    My question for you Yoast is: Do you feel highlighting of authors in search will assist in proving the unique source of the content across the web? I know about canonical within your own site, but even after the Panda update I have a serious issue with Google recognizing my content as the original source when pitted against other sites. Scrappers still rank ahead of me, particularly if their site is more authorative (I can give examples if needed). Any thoughts on this?

  77. Ken
    By Ken on 4 July, 2011

    I found the link.

    Scroll to the bottom of the page under the section “One last step”.

  78. Gary B
    By Gary B on 4 July, 2011

    @Tim: are you on the correct page?

    You need to be in appearances > menus.

  79. Tim Beckwith
    By Tim Beckwith on 4 July, 2011

    I’m running WordPress 3.1.4. Clicking the “screen options” tag DOES NOT show a “Link Relationship” box at all. Instead it shows boxes for Right Now, Recent Comments, Incoming Links, Plugins, Addthis, Dashboard: Technorati Reactions Extended, Google Analytics Summary, Quickpress, The Latest news from Yoast, Recent Drafts, WordPress Development Blog, and Other WordPress News. So your fine article cannot help me. Frustrating.

    • Gert
      By Gert on 4 July, 2011

      You have to do this onece your in the ‘Apperance tab’ and the ‘menus item’

      • Sam
        By Sam on 23 July, 2011

        I don’t understand what has to be done in “Appearance tab” and “menu item”?

      • Rob Cubbon
        By Rob Cubbon on 16 July, 2011

        I needed to read this to get the point as well!

        • Fernando H Rosa
          By Fernando H Rosa on 22 July, 2011

          Me too. It wasn’t really clear from the article text that I had to do that.

      • Sam Kear
        By Sam Kear on 7 July, 2011

        Thanks for the clarification, this was confusing to me as well.

  80. Ken
    By Ken on 4 July, 2011

    Is there a missing step? It shows this on the rich snippet page :

    Note that there is no guarantee that a Rich Snippet will be shown for this page on actual search results. For more details, see the FAQ

    This is from the Google FAQ :

    “Once you have marked up content on the relevant pages across your site and confirmed that the marked up content can be extracted successfully by Google, sign up on the “Interested in Rich Snippets” form.”

    Do we need to fill out this form?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 4 July, 2011

      Actually, not that one, there’s another form but don’t bother, Google will do this automatically soon enough :)

      • Ken
        By Ken on 4 July, 2011

        Could you post a link to the form? I’d like to check it out.

      • Gert
        By Gert on 4 July, 2011

        If possible can you share that second link also in this article ? Some of us don’t want to wait until google does this automatically.

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 4 July, 2011

      Yes. For now, you must.

  81. Peter Kirk
    By Peter Kirk on 4 July, 2011

    Thanks. I have now sorted out that rel=”author” tag on my “About” page, on my single author blog. But is there any way I can get the author link on each post to link to my “About” page rather than to a meaningless author archive?

    • Joost de Valk
      By Joost de Valk on 4 July, 2011

      Hey Peter,

      I’ve added a new section to the post for you with the answer to that question :)

      • Peter Kirk
        By Peter Kirk on 4 July, 2011

        Thank you. I’ll try that. By the way I am using Twenty Ten, should have said that the first time.

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