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Google rel="author" and rel="publisher" Conflicts

How to fix rel="author" tag image that is no longer appearing.

Today I noticed that Google stopped showing my head shot next to the Kingston Web Design search result; having this is crucial as it does increase click through rate for obvious reasons we do not need to go into. My authorship has been working and headshot was appearing in search results since mid April of this year.

After lengthy debugging with Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool I was able to determine that rel="publisher" and rel="me" now seem to conflict with each other when on the same page; a verified rel="publisher" link makes the rel="author" link fail verification.

Surprisingly and unexpectedly having a plain link to your Google+ brand page prevents your head shot from appearing - the author profile is being reported as verified yet the profile image is no longer displayed. One must completely remove any links to a Google+ Brand Page for the head shot to funciton.

Until Google starts displaying G+ brand page profile images or fixes the above issues I have pulled Danols Web Engineering G+ link from the home.

Is Google getting ready to extend the rel="publisher" functionlaity?

My spider senses are tingling and I am going to say a definite "yes". It is only logical that rel=publisher and Google+ brand pages would function similar to author pages. The positive effect of a head shot next to a search result on the click through rate is significant and there are over 1M Google+ brand pages waiting to benefit from it.

Another peculiar thing that I have noticed upon that supports the above is that if one crates a rel="publisher" that links to a personal G+ page it acts as a rel="author", that is the Rich Snippet Testing tool shows the author’s head shot; it seems rel="publisher" has precedence over rel="author".

I do look forward to Google displaying Danols Web Engineering logo rather then my own face, and I hope it will be sooner than later.


  1. After 7+ days of waiting the author head shot was not appearing. I then reactivated the publisher code and verified the authorship tag using an email at my domain (recall having publisher disabled "rel=me" or "rel=author" from working in the rich snippet tool).

    Within 3 days after doing that my nugget started appearing. So if you are having issues verifying your authorship try the email at the domain in question method.

    Interestingly I think there is something funky going on with the tool as re-checking right after email verification method would still report that the authorship was not verified.


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