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I have a forum, and I would like to add rel=author to my pages. However, each page has multiple authors, and I'm not sure how I should implement rel=author if I have multiple authors. Does anyone have any advice?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I used the instructions on the article How To Implement Rel=Author for creating my page. The only difference is that I had two rel=author links instead of one. I then tested the page with Google's rich snippets testing tool, and the first author that was linked was displayed as if it were the only author. The second author was not displayed at all.

Multiple rel=author links is something that I think Google should recognize, as pages like forums and wikis usually have more than one author.

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Pages like forums and wikis can have dozens of authors on a single page, which Google would be unable to display in any useful form. I would argue that rel=author is inappropriate for pages with THAT many authors. –  Blazemonger Apr 15 '13 at 20:31

I couldn't find any author-specific information, but the HTML specs do allow you to define more than one link with the same relationship, e.g.

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="//de.example.com/my/page.htm">
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-gb" href="//uk.example.com/my/page.htm">
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" href="/my/page.rss">
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" href="/my/page.xml">
<link rel="alternate" type="application/pdf" href="/my/page.pdf">
<link rel="alternate" type="application/pdf" media="print" href="/my/print-page.pdf">
<link rel="alternate" media="handheld" href="/my/mobile/page.htm">

I would assume that the same could be done with the author relationship.

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do you know if Google will recognize it, though? –  Christofian Jan 27 '12 at 1:03
    
@Christofian: That, I do not know. Maybe you can try it and let us know? =P –  Lèse majesté Jan 27 '12 at 1:19
1  
I'll try it then, and I'll let you know how it goes... –  Christofian Jan 27 '12 at 2:01
1  
Result of my experiment: webmasters.stackexchange.com/a/25185/6901 –  Christofian Jan 28 '12 at 16:30

According to the HTML5 Working Draft:

The author keyword may be used with link, a, and area elements. This keyword creates a hyperlink.

For a and area elements, the author keyword indicates that the referenced document provides further information about the author of the nearest article element ancestor of the element defining the hyperlink, if there is one, or of the page as a whole, otherwise.

While the specification does not indicate a resolution for multiple authors specified at the HTML5 document level, the element level does provide support for multiple authors within a single HTML5 document (which should cover your forum's needs).

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Testing a page on the testing tool i saw this:

Note: The testing tool currently only checks the first rel=author link listed on a webpage for a link to a Google+ profile [...]. It's possible that authorship may in fact be working for this page because of other rel=author links on the page. To verify that authorship is working on this page, please ensure the first profile listed on the site links to the appropriate Google+ profile.

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