Why you should use rel=”me” and rel=”author”

Use rel="author" and rel="me" to take credit for your work


If you haven’t implemented the rel=”author” and rel=”me” attributes on your blog or site, stop what you are doing and go do it now. Not only is it important that you start building your own personal ranking with Google, but you are also making sure that you receive credit for posts or articles that you author and, more importantly, making sure others do not get credit for your work.

The author and me attributes are microformats, special HTML code that identifies certain types of data on a web page. Why is this important? Well, it keeps third parties, like search engines and API’s, from having to guess the purpose of content on a web page and output more accurate and unified results.There are tons of these attributes for all kinds of data and Google is always incorporating them in new ways. I plan on doing a post that examines microformats in greater detail at some point in the future.

By using rel=”me” sites can link one page about a person to another page about the same person. By  consolidating your social identities you are letting search engines know that these profiles represent the same person.

Twitter usage of rel="me"
Twitter includes rel="me" on your profile page

Facebook only includes the me attribute if you have adjusted your privacy settings to allow everyone to see your website. I can’t really think of a reason not to do this if you have added your url to this section.


 Facebook usage of the rel="me" attribute
You have to customize your privacy settings in order for rel=”me” to be added.


Most of the social networks are incorporating this, all you have to do is link to your blog or site and make sure that you are also using the rel=”me” on your blog. I use my About ME page and link to my Google + profile. Yoast has a great post on adding rel=”me” and rel=”author” to your wordpress blog. He has recently updated the post to show the new, easier method of implementing with Google + so that you get the pretty little profile pics like Matt has here:

Isn't he dreamy?


So why should you add these attributes? One of the biggest enemies of search quality is scraped content on the web. Googlebot is not the only bot out there and, in some verticals, your content may be scraped before Google can index it. That means it is more likely that some one else will reap the rewards, in the form of rankings, of your work. By closing the loop between your Internet profiles, your content, and your site, you remove the guesswork that Google has to do. This means your content has a great chance of benefiting you rather than scrapers.





2 thoughts on “Why you should use rel=”me” and rel=”author”

  1. Very interesting. I’d not heard of that and it sounds very useful. It looks like the rel=”me” is obsolete (but still supported) already. From your “go do it now” link, it seems like rel=author is all that need be used now.

    Thanks. Anything to get my gorgeous mug showing up in more search results…

  2. I don’t believe rel=”me” is obsolete, it’s just the “author” has more practical usage and Google is promoting this new implementation in an effort to clean up the SERPs. Me relates to the person, author relates to the work. I have both implemented here since this is a single author and my personal blog.

Comments are closed.