Aug 01, 2013

Why Rel=Publisher is Important for your Website

Basic blogger SEO blog header

 With the advent of Google Plus, website owners and bloggers are given more and more opportunities to manage search results for their web pages.  So why should you be on Google Plus, besides the numerous advantages to search results, social implications, the real advantage is CONTROL.  You get to have some control with what Google displays about you, using Google+.  Imagine having your logo next to search results!  The rel=publisher or publisher tag is very critical to this and Google themselves say that:

“If you’ve created a Google+ page, we strongly recommend linking from that page to your website and vice versa.”

How you do that is with a rel=publisher tag. 

So before we get into the “how to”, I’m going to show you WHY. 

Here is my personal website before I installed the rel=publisher tag.
Blog SERP without rel=publisher tag

Now here is what it might look like in search results after:
Blog SERP with rel=author tagWhich one would you choose?  I believe the answer may be self-evident!

Now I KNOW I have your attention.  Every webmaster/blogger/marketer would LOVE to have their logo in search results for their homepage right?  The good thing about this is that if you want to have your logo potential display on ALL pages within your site, just install some simple publisher code and you’ve got it!  If you want to have verified author profiles for content, install authorship and it will override the publisher tag and display the author like this:
So how do you install the rel=publisher code.  There are a few simple ways to do it. 

  1. The easiest and best way is to install a Google+ widget or a Google plus badge on your website’s homepage.  You need to do it on your homepage, because most likely that is the busiest page of your site. Google has wonderful tools that you can customize to create the perfect Google plus badge for your site. I personally prefer to put this badge in my sidebar on my blog; this will allow the publisher tag to appear on any page that has the sidebar, which is nearly every page on my blog.  You can create horizontal, vertical, include the cover photo, the sky is the limit.  The most important thing to remember is that when you have the code, you’ll need to look and make sure the rel=publisher code is included.  

    Google+ badge examples

  2. Option number two is something simple, and is found on this Google Webmaster Page.  Google encourages you to link your Google+ page to your website and another way to do that is to add this code: 

    <a href="https://plus.google.com/[yourpageID]"  rel="publisher">Find us on Google+</a>

    Detailed instructions are found on 
    Google’s Webmaster’s help page

Remember, the code only works on pages that it is installed on AND it may not always show. Google decides what it shows, but IF you give them the option to display your logo, they just might.  To see if you have your publisher tag set up correctly, head over to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.  Simply type in the URL that you are testing and the Testing Tool will display what can appear in search results.  To get universal authorship on ALL of your pages, I would encourage you to add this code, to your side bar or footer. 

Controlling what displays in search results is extremely important.  We know that more visual search results with pictures and ratings get more click-throughs.  So take advantage of this opportunity. Get on Google+ and embrace those circles!

SIDE NOTE:
Google will not always display your logo in search results, even with this set up correctly.  


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