I'd like to have my 'mugshot' in Google's SERPs but I couldn't care less about Google+. I don't really want to link my website to Google+ either. Can I use CSS display:none; on the link leading to my profile and still have authorship, which looks like

<a href='https://plus.google.com/111823012258578917399?rel=author' rel='nofollow'>Google</a>?

Will the nofollow attribute here spoil things? I don't want to lose 'link juice' on Google+ if I don't have to.

Now Google should crawl only the HTML but I'm sure they'll figure out the link is not visible (perhaps it's technically even cloaking.

Does anybody have experience with this situation? And do I really have to become (reasonably) active on Google+ in order for authorship to show? This answer suggests I do but I didn't read anything on that in Google's guidelines.

2 Answers 2


Although I haven't tested myself, I would not expect this to work because the whole point of authorship is to utilise the system to build credibility as an author and producer of content that links to your Google+ page.

Google also confirm that:-

Hidden markup Make sure that your rel="author" link is not invisible to humans using techniques like display:none or CSS. Broadly speaking, Google won’t display any information that cannot be viewed by humans.

If you hide content from the user then it essentially cannot be trusted, it defeats the purpose of the authorship model.

  • Thanks but it kinda sucks. Only authors active on Google+ can be credible? I want to build credibility by writing good articles and clearly putting my name on them. If I verify myself as their author, then why should I be active on Google+ and even visibly link to them as well? This looks like Google abusing their power to me...
    – RubenGeert
    May 30, 2014 at 10:55
  • 2
    Well quite. Google's system, Google's platform, Google's search engine. They can do what they wish with their own products. Unfortunately a case of 'don't like them, don't use them'.
    – zigojacko
    May 30, 2014 at 11:45

You don't have to have a visible link to your Google+ profile to implement Google Authorship. An alternative method is to add the link rel="author" tag to your page's as described in the following article:



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