It is quite possible you have never heard of rel=publisher and that is because it is not talked about very often in comparison to the rel=author component of Google Authorship. That said it is a part of the authorship puzzle which should be implemented for any business with a presence on Google Plus; that should be all businesses (yes it is that important!).
The benefit of a rel=publisher setup is your logo from your Google Plus business page can show up in search results when the home page is ranking. This establishes a more authoritative appearance in results and can improve click-throughs to your website. It also allows searchers to go directly to your Google Plus business page from results if they wish to add your business to the desirable businesses they follow on Google Plus.
The Setup Process
Rel=publisher is setup by adding a simple rel=publisher tag within the code of the home page of your website. When Google’s algorithms have determined your site should get the extra attention rel=publisher can offer you may see results like the following search for “all things digital”; the popular tech site AllThingsD is highlighted along with its Google Plus profile on the right side and the latest article published.
Here is a screenshot of the code within the home page of AllThingsD.com showing the rel=publisher directive installed:
Rel=Publisher Setup Instructions
Here are the instructions for how to install rel=publisher on your website:
- Create a Google Plus Page for your business using this great introduction and guide by Google. During the setup make certain to provide the optional link to your website using the simplest of formatting such as: http://www.allthingsd.com and NOT http://www.xyzname.com/home/index.php (if that actually was the home page – and it is for some sites)
- Go to your Google Plus Business Page and copy the URL. Here are some examples:
The popular AllThingsD has a vanity URL: https://plus.google.com/+AllThingsD/
The more standard version you are likely to have is: https://plus.google.com/110616321701663005596/
- Replace address in the following code example with your business page address (URL):
<link href=”address” rel=”publisher” />
The result should look like this but with your own business page address:
<link href=”https://plus.google.com/110616321701663005596/” rel=”publisher” />
- Copy the finalized version of the code and paste it before the
</head>tag within your home page code. Yes this may require some technical assistance but I assure you if it will cost you anything it should be marginal for someone you trust to add this code.
- Once installed use the Structured Data Testing Tool to check if the code is working properly. If everything is working you should be able to scroll down to the “Publisher” section and see “Publisher markup is verified for this page” along with a link to your business page (test this to make sure it is accurate).
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