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When Google Authorship was very much still a thing several years ago, the conclusion was that it was better not to include more than one <link rel="author"> on any given page.

See:

Google Authorship is now a distant memory (Mountain View stopped using it several centuries ago in 2016) but I'm concerned that there may still be something invalid or nonsensical about including more than one <link rel="author"> in the <head> of a given document.

My use case involves referencing both an About Page and humans.txt:

<link rel="author" href="https://example.com/about-us/" />
<link rel="author" href="https://example.com/humans.txt" type="text/plain" />

Is there anything - I can't find explicit confirmation - from the WHAT-WG to confirm that this is valid usage?

Or is there a viable alternative to using more than one <link rel="author"> element?

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  • Using meta links is only going to bloat your page unless you know of some use for them. The only reason to include them that I know of would have been because Google used them for the rich author result. Is there some other reason to have author links now? Sep 16 '20 at 1:32
  • Hah. Yes, because i) there are documents where authorship is relevant data and ii) Google isn't the only consumer of meta-information.
    – Rounin
    Sep 16 '20 at 8:33
  • I agree with you, @StephenOstermiller, that the meta <link> elements appearing in any given document should be selected carefully.
    – Rounin
    Sep 16 '20 at 8:36
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While rel="author" is deprecated and out of use, information about an author is still mandatory. Specially for AMP-pages is an author a required property.

For non-AMP pages is the author-property doesn't mentioned as required - but i personally very recommend to use it.

Information about an author serves as an important trust signal. I very recommend to use the author property as Person or Organization type and provide additional info, like links to social network profiles, so Google is able to validate the author's personality.

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  • Thank you for this, @Evgeniy, but this answer doesn't relate to the question: "[...] is it now both valid and viable for a document to include multiple <link rel=“author”> links?" (Also I'm not sure rel="author" is deprecated - we both know that Google isn't currently using it, but... Google isn't the only consumer of meta-data).
    – Rounin
    Sep 16 '20 at 10:20
  • it is as much valid as any word without semantic meaning. You can use it once or twice or as much as you want - no meaning multiplied by any number equals no meaning. Nobody beside Google was consuming this attribute, nobody consumes it after Google deprecated it.
    – Evgeniy
    Sep 16 '20 at 11:59
  • Re: "nobody consumes it" - humans.txt consumes <link rel="author">. Also, I accept that if no-one is looking for <link> then it has no meaning - but when someone is looking for the <link> in a consistent manner and for a consistent purpose, that's what gives it meaning.
    – Rounin
    Sep 16 '20 at 12:34
  • what consumes humans.txt and for which purpose?
    – Evgeniy
    Sep 16 '20 at 13:24

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