Google adds author URL property to uniquely identify authors of articles

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Google updated the article structured data help document to add new author properties to the list of recommended properties you can use in Google Search. Google said the company added a new recommended author.url property to the article structured data documentation.

What is author.url. The author.url property is a new recommended property you can add to your article structured markup that is essentially a link to a web page that uniquely identifies the author of the article. This link can be to the author’s social media page, an about me page, or a biography page or some other page that helps identify this author.

Alternative. Google also said in the help documents that “you can use the sameAs property as an alternative.” Google can understand both sameAs and url when disambiguating authors, the company said.

Why is it important. Some authors, like myself, write across two or more websites. Giving Google a way to identify that this author wrote these articles on site A and those articles on site B, but they are all written by the same author, can help Google better understand the author’s footprint. It might be used for the new article carousel in the author knowledge panels and for broader reasons at Google.

Why we care. If your site publishes articles, it might benefit you to add these new property to your article structured data. Who knows if Google will use it more broadly than just in the author knowledge panels, and use it to try to understand the expertise of a specific author across multiple sites. Maybe, just maybe, that can help your site rank better in the long term. That is assuming SEOs spammers do not manipulate it and post fact author markup for their stories.


About The Author

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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