Is it possible to transfer Google Authorship from one account to another?


I have user A who is a legitimate Google Author in my WordPress site. When I search the 'keyword' in Google, his name and photo will show up in the search result.

One day A left the company, so we don't want to use his name again as an author, and transfer it to another person which is B.

Technically speaking, I can just alter the display name and Google+ Profile URL of A to B. And then I probably can notify Google of the changes happening.

But what will happen then? Will Google get confused and think that I'm doing scam? Is doing this action even correct in the first place?


No you cannot transfer Google Authorship from one account to another, there is no such mechanism to tell Google about such a switch.

You could of course simply change the rel=author tag like you have mentioned, but this is not recommended unless for some reason the former employee becomes a public disgrace, or simply starts moving in directions that will not enhance their reputation in your industry.

There are many reasons to keep the same author even after leaving the company. If the former employee continues to build a great reputation in your industry after they leave, then that reputation continues to work for your content.

Keeping Google Authorship / rel="author" ensures that author rich snippets persist, which can increase click-through rates.

No AuthorRank is lost, thereby potentially increasing its search rankings.

If you remove it, the former employee may become disgruntled that their content is now being attributed to another. This could cause a PR/social media headache for the former employer.

Also it's unethical to simply attribute content that was written by one person, to some one else.

These points and more are covered below:

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  • I only quibble with Also it's unethical to simply attribute content that was written by one person, to some one else. a little. Only a little. And only because he was writing on the companies dime and therefore the work belongs to the company. Outside of that minor consideration- excellent answer! One up-vote on the way. – closetnoc Jun 6 '14 at 2:36

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