Google’s rel=author markup feature has been frustrating and mysterious this year, to say the least. So it was quite a surprise this week to get a new site added to my profile and have the author avatar showing up for it in less than 24 hours.
I implemented rel=author this summer as Google described and then waited and waited for several months until it finally kicked in for me in early October. Then it disappeared in late October for no apparent reason. And now it’s back again. Hopefully for good, because I really believe this is going to become a strong traffic driver for authors/publishers. I also think it’s a sign that an author has earned trust from Google.
My rel=author status has revolved around two sites: Search Engine Land and this site, Small Business Search Marketing. To my knowledge, the author avatar doesn’t appear on articles I’ve written at any other sites — not my personal blog, not @U2 nor its blog, etc., etc.
But now that we’ve just launched Marketing Land, and I’m doing a lot of writing there, I wanted to see if Google had picked that site up and added it to my authorship. On Tuesday night, I found a search that showed my avatar on both SEL and SBSM, but not on the new ML site.
For some reason, I had a feeling that getting Google to recognize my authorship at Marketing Land was going to be a long, frustrating process. It wasn’t. I think it was just a matter of adding Marketing Land to my Google+ profile. I added it to the “Introduction” and “Employment” sections of my profile.
I figured I might have to wait a couple weeks at minimum, but no. Not at all. I checked Wednesday afternoon and there it was: a Marketing Land article showing my author avatar, less than 24 hours after I added Marketing Land to my Google+ profile.
The whole rel=author thing is somewhat of a mystery to me, and I’m not entirely sure that updating my Google+ profile is all that it took to get the avatar showing for Marketing Land articles. It could be pure coincidence that this happened the day after I updated my profile.
I guess I’ll test this theory by adding the markup to one of my other sites and then adding it to my profile. And we’ll see how long that takes. I’m betting it’ll be a lot longer than the next day.