Google removing <link> support for Direct Connect rel=publisher verification?


Google+ LogoIn my original look at Google’s authorship attribution markup, I mentioned that I would like to have seen support for the less invasive <link> syntax as an alternative to having to promote Google+ with active clickable links on our own web pages (I love Google+, but that is another story).

Google did actually support this feature when they later introduced Google+ Pages and the associated rel=publisher markup for Google’s Direct Connect, excellent!

A Google employee reached out to call my attention the fact that several of the points I made in a November authorship article are no longer true. In the process of updating the article, I wanted to see if anything had changed regarding support for linking from an author’s site to Google+ using <link> instead of <a>… and I find that Google seems to have taken a step backwards on this front.

If you look at the rel=”publisher” documentation in languages other than English, i.e.

you’ll see I wasn’t imagining things (this may have changed by the time you read this):

<link rel=”publisher” href=”https://plus.google.com/[ID_Ihrer_Seite]” />

(English only speakers, just search the page for <link using ctrl-f in your browser)… but if you look at the current version of the same document in English, references to <link … are gone, sigh.

Tip: save Google help pages using Firefox’s Scrapbook extension… Google is a very dynamic company and some things change quick enough to keep me in a consulting job :-)

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About Sean Carlos

Sean Carlos is a digital marketing consultant & teacher, assisting companies with their Search (SEO + SEA = SEM), Social Media & Digital Media Measurement strategies. Sean first worked with text indexing in 1990 in a project for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Since then he worked for Hewlett-Packard Consulting and later as IT Manager of a real estate website before founding Antezeta in 2006. Sean is an official instructor of the Digital Analytics Association and collaborates with the Bocconi University. He is Chairman of the SMX Search and Social Media Conference, 13 & 14 November in Milan. He is also a co-author of the Treccani encyclopedic dictionary of computer science, ICT & digital media. Born in Providence, RI, USA, Sean received Honors in Physics from Bates College, Maine. He speaks English, Italian and German.

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