Google Rel=Agent Replaces Authorship: Maybe Google Testing SEOs

Sep 12, 2014 - 8:06 am 14 by

Some savvy webmasters were inspecting the HTML markup behind the last Google Webmaster Blog post and noticed the markup used on the posted by John Mueller hyperlink had a bit of extra code for rel=agent. Here is a screen shot of the code:

Google Rel-Agent

Paul Shaprio asked about it on Twitter after noticing it, saying "Weird, probably insignificant observation... JohnMu is tagged with ?rel=agent." Indeed.

Often Googlers, especially on the webmaster blog, add markup to see if we are looking. It is Google humor, that is how Googlers have fun.

John replied:

Yea right, a typo. :)

As you know, Google has destroyed authorship so it would have said rel=author but John changed it to rel=agent to mess with us.

Love this stuff.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Now John changed it to


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