Sunday, December 2, 2012

SEO Basics: Linking My Content to Google+ Using rel='author'

I've learned the first step of using rich snippets to make links to my content look better in search results. The process is not extremely complicated, but it also is not intuitive to me, so I'd better write it down. I linked the content on my Blogger blog and also on my website which I'm using as training grounds. There are several steps involved - I need to modify my Google+ account, and I need to modify the content where I publish it.

1. Google+ account.

Assuming I already have a Google+ profile with photo on it, I go to my Profile, About and select Edit Profile.

Edit Profile

I scroll down to where Contributor to section is. In there I add the places I'm going to post my content. I edit this section to specify where my content is posted. Now Google+ knows where I'm posting, but that's not enough - I have to provide a way to verify that it's actually me.

Edit Contributor

2. My Website.

Here I have full control! I can experiment without fear to break things beyond repair. I did a few simple things so far: In the _Layout.cshtml, the partial view that is rendered on every page, I added the link to my Google+ account

    <link rel="author" href=""/>

Additionally (optional) I modified the view that will display my posts to update the MetaKeywords and MetaDescription (see my previous post) dynamically.

    ViewBag.MetaDescription = "Description of this post";
    ViewBag.MetaKeywords = "Keywords of this post";
    ViewBag.Title = Model.Title;

I'll add appropriate properties to the Model later, but that's beyond the scope of this post. I think that's all.

3. Blogger.

For reason I'll try to explain below, I had to add the following to the template of my blog in Blogger:

<a class='updated' expr:href='data:post.url' rel='bookmark' title='permanent link'><abbr class='updated' expr:title='data:post.timestampISO8601'><data:post.timestamp/></abbr></a>

Edit Blogger Template

I also added the same link as I did for my website - I'm not sure it's absolutely necessary though.

I'll also be adding the following to the end of my posts:

by <a title="Evgeny" rel="author" href="" alt="Google+" title="Google+">Evgeny</a>.

With all that done I can publish this very post on my website and Blogger and then test the results.

4. Testing

Now I can test the results by entering the link to my post in the Structured Data Testing Tool. I enter the url and the tool tests the link for me.

This is the Blogger post.

Blogger - Positive Test Result

And this is my website.

Website - Positive Test Result

Finally, what would have happened if I hadn't added that bit to the Blogger template? I did not save the exact screenshot, but the error returned was "Missing required field 'Updated'" and looked similar to the image below.

Missing Required Field "Updated"


Warning: Missing required field "updated" in Blogger Rich Snippet Webmaster Tool [Solved]
Embrace Authorship - The importance of rel=me and rel=author on your content's SEO and Google
Rich snippets for idiots. And, er, you.
by . Also posted on my website

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