I maintain a WordPress plugin that allows authors to makes widgets representing other pages on their sites with a linked title, thumbnail image, and excerpt of the text. I've used hAtom to mark up the entry, title, bookmark, and summary but feel that displaying the author and updated date are nonessential, even undesireable because the pages are static, authorless content.
Here's the reduced test-case HTML:
<article class="hentry"> <div class="entry-title"> <a href="http://example.org" rel="bookmark">Who we are...</a> </div> <div> <img src="http://example.org/img.jpg" /> </div> <div class="entry-summary"> <p>Summary of the Page</p> </div> </article>
With the Rich Snippet Testing Tool or webmaster tools, it extracts all the expected data but throws errors:
Error: Missing required field "updated".
Error: Missing required hCard "author".
I know that both
author are required according to the hAtom spec.
I'm fairly confident that this doesn't hurt the site's SEO or anything else, I'm trying to understand the various trade-offs here. I could:
- Remove the hAtom markup completely (possibly replacing it with schema.org markup?)
- Add visually hidden author and date info.
- Leave broken with the errors.
If an hAtom entry is truly invalid without
author, what are the concrete downsides and are there any ways to avoid them? If there are none, is there any way to suppress the errors? As I distribute this markup in a plugin, I'd like to avoid the errors if at all possible.