I came across rel=me and rel=author from joost's blog. I don't know how much value they're going to be in future for SERPS as they look more of eye candy in search than anything beneficial to surfers.

It is difficult to use rel=me and rel=author on a WordPress blog? Most of the plugins are working with all the themes. I'm using Thesis and Genesis frameworks and plugins seems to be not working for some of the themes on these frameworks.

Is there any theme-agnostic plugin that does the job for rel=me and rel=author?

What benefits are there for webmasters?

1 Answer 1


From rel=”me” And rel=”author” Attributes:

Google wants to make it clear what the difference is between rel=”me” and rel=”author”. That’s why on June 7 – just a few days ago – Google added an explanation page to its Webmaster guidelines defining the difference. It’s really pretty simple, but I think it bears some discussion and how small business owners can use the site for improving their own search engine rankings.

rel=”author” Defines Authorship

Let’s say that Small Business Mavericks has a staff of five writers, all of whom write content for the blog. If each one has an author page with a bio, then each author could have a byline on every blog post they write. The name in their byline could be linked to each author’s author bio page with a rel=”author” attribute as a part of the link markup code. In other words, it would look something like this:

`<a href="Small Business Maverick URL" rel="Caroline Melberg">Caroline Melberg</a>` 

This code tells the search engines that Caroline Melberg is the author of the article linking to the author’s page. It’s important to point out that this markup must be used only on content that exists on the same domain. In other words, you wouldn’t use the rel=”author” tag to link from an article on one domain to an author bio on another domain.

rel=”me” Defines The Person

While the rel=”author” attribute is new markup, rel=”me” is not. In fact, for a number of years now Google has encouraged its use. It should be used in links that point from a social networking profile back to your website and vice-versa. This tells Google that the same name and bio information on separate websites is actually the same person.

Why The Distinction?

I think what Google is getting at here is that there could be some user confusion over who persons are between social networks, especially if several users share a common name, whereas authors on a website might be better found – and their names more searchable – if links included a rel=”author” tag.

The rel=”author” attribute is clearly encouraged for news sites where several authors might write pages on a regular basis, but it doesn’t mean that small businesses with several writers can’t also use the same markup strategy. I think you can.

Google will use rel="author" to show a profile image for the author when a relevant search result written by them is shown. Example.


Apparently this feature is coming in Wordpress. Until then you can use a hack to get it into your Wordpress blog now.

  • Do you know any way to implement this in wordpress without any issues between themes ?
    – Mahesh
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 17:48
  • I've updated my answer with what I found on Google related to adding Wordpress functionality.
    – John Conde
    Commented Aug 30, 2011 at 17:51
  • I've also tried to impement it but I don't get something. How do I connect the G+ profile with this. I want my picture to be shown in search results, so this is why I would implement it. Do I have to add an <a href="mysite.com/authorpage" rel="author">Daniel</a> and then from that page link to my G+ profile with <a href="plus.gooogle.com/myprofileID" rel="me">Google+</a> ?
    – Daniel
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 6:28
  • @Daniel: After screening how other website do it, this is apparently the preferred way: <a href="plus.google.com/12345678901234567890?rel=author" rel="author">Google+</a>. From that link, Google seems to grab the profile image as well as name automatically.
    – David K.
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 15:21

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