Google's FAQ On Rel Author Says Not For Product Pages

Aug 22, 2013 • 8:37 am | comments (17) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Yesterday on the Google Webmaster Blog, Maile posted and FAQ on using Google authorship, rel=author, on your site.

The one that I am glad was brought up was not to use authorship on product pages. I see it all too often and it just doesn't make sense. Authorship should be used for stories and content that is specifically tied to an author as something he is adding his own opinion to or something very unique. Product pages are not that.

Google Reviews Rich Snippets

You should use the reviews rich snippet. But that doesn't mean that product results should not have authorship. If you are doing a detailed review of a product, go ahead.

Google Authorship on Product reviews

Here are some of the questions answered by the FAQs on the blog.

1. What kind of pages can be used with authorship? Short answer: Author based content.

2. Can I use a company mascot as an author and have authorship annotation in search results? For my pest control business, I’d like to write as the “Pied Piper.” Short answer: No.

3. If I use authorship on articles available in different languages, such as for English and for the French translation, should I link to two separate author/Google+ profiles written in each language? Short answer: No.

4. Is it possible to add two authors for one article? Short answer: No.

5. How can I prevent Google from showing authorship? Short answer: Block Google.

6. What’s the difference between rel=author vs rel=publisher? Short answer: publisher is company related, author is person related.

7. Can I use authorship on my site’s property listings or product pages since one of my employees has customized the description? Short answer: No.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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08/22/2013 12:55 pm

Hmm, I'm working with someone who tried to tie in a ratings plug-in to their blog posts and their authorship disappeared in Google. Sounds like that could be tied into this.

Mark Johnson

08/22/2013 02:09 pm

But what if you spend genuine time and effort creating detailed 'additional information' that accompanies products on product pages, noting the creator by use of Authorship? Surely such matters cannot be so clear cut? I'd love to know if Authorship should be omitted in such instances irrespective of accompanying author related information.


08/22/2013 02:15 pm

Well, if this is all true - there are a lot of cheaters out there, because I see a hell of a lot of authorships on product pages.

AlsaRef | Agence web

08/23/2013 08:12 am

We thought about it many times and I am quite surprised to see online shops' hompages having a rel=author tag. Is it really adding value ? I agree with your point : author = content / information. There is no "real" information in homepages content.

Conor Mulcahy

08/23/2013 08:49 am

It's a shame that multiple authors cannot be attributed to an article, presumably as one person typically authors an article. It would be useful to have a "contributor" tag which would could include those who featured. It is google's long term goal to have your contribution to the net reference indefinitely, your contribution is not limited to the content that you published. It's unrealistic to use the contributor link in G+ to facilitate this requirement.

Gracious Store

08/24/2013 02:40 am

I guess the reason why Google limits one author to a content is is avoid people abusing it, having so many people authoring or contributing to one content. Content published used for marketing to gain exposure do not require the degree of expertise of which many experts will team up to publish a content as you would in a peer reviewed journal articles

Vermont Design Works

08/26/2013 09:38 pm

How do you all feel about authorship being used on a website's main pages, like the home page? I see this being done and it seems awkward in the same way product pages with an author photo would... but at the same time it's being done and presumably helping CTRs of the sites doing it, simply because they catch the eye more than other organic results.

Barry Schwartz

08/26/2013 09:39 pm

Same way I feel about the usernames that are keyword rich that people use when commenting on stories.

Vermont Design Works

08/26/2013 09:58 pm

Ouch, was that directed at me? Just commenting through Disqus, logged in from our company Twitter account - no etiquette violation intended. Back to the original question though - what do you think about using authorship on main site pages, including the home page? We're curious because we don't think we've seen Google say anything about it and was hoping you or someone else here might have.

Mark Johnson

08/26/2013 11:05 pm

Lol. Touché

Jereme Thomas

08/27/2013 05:38 pm

Hi Barry, can you elaborate on your comment? I'm assuming you do not agree with keyword rich "names" for comments, so does that mean you do not agree with authorship on a website's homepage. I see is using your G+ profile as the author.

Vermont Design Works

09/17/2013 08:04 pm

BTW, I see now that for some reason my disqus image is currently showing my personal image, when at the time of the original discussion I was seeing our company logo. Perhaps you were always seeing my personal image but company name? Not sure why or how it got changed though. Very strange. Trying to change back to my logo now.

Calid Nofal

11/07/2013 08:43 am

Does using "Authorship" on products pages consider a violation and if yes, is there a way to report it ?


11/27/2013 04:26 pm

What if your product is authored? Like an ebook or a stock photo?

Spook SEO

01/19/2014 04:34 pm

Hello Barry! Another excellent post from you. Yes indeed. Authorship should be used for stories or content that is particularly tied to an author as he is adding his own opinion to. I really hope to read more of your articles. Thank you for sharing this.

William John

01/21/2014 04:11 pm

Yes, it would be better if not using on product or services pages, as the authorship would be a better fit for blog content. the user may be clicking your result for product but it does not go well with other pages than blog

Denver Prophit Jr.

01/29/2014 04:47 pm

Look at for the "contributor" from the parent of CreativeWork. Yes you can have multiple authors on a creative work (article, blog).

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