Notes on Google+

Google+ profiles and pages: author and publisher mark-ups

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This article aims to explain how to set up author and publisher mark-ups that connect a website and Google+ entities with references to the relevant help documents.


[Added: 26 August 2013]

Please note that some information on this page are now out of date. Specifically, it is no longer the case that Google+ pages are deleted, when their parent Google+ profile that owns them is deleted, as described at Google+ pages without Google+ profiles. Please read Articles with obsolete information regarding out-of-date content on this site.

Google+ profile = Author & Google+ page = Publisher

Perhaps you have a website or an online business, and have heard about Google+ or authorship. You have decided to give Google+ a go, and you are thinking of linking your site to Google+. There are few things to remember when you attempt to link them, but most fundamentally, they can be summarized as: Google+ profile = Person = Author and Google+ page = Thing (e.g. a website) = Publisher. In other words, there are two ways to establish a link between your website and Google+: (1) you can use the author mark-up to denote the person who wrote the content on a page and link back to a Google+ profile; and (2) you can use the publisher mark-up to denote the place where your content is published and link back to a Google+ page.

Creating a Google+ profile and a Google+ page

Even if you would only like to connect your website to a Google+ page, you will need to create a Google+ profile first. A Google+ profile represents a natural person, you in other words, and as such it should have a name that complies with the names policy as outlined at So do not try to name a Google+ profile after your website for example, since that would be contrary to the policy. You will need to create a Google+ page to represent your website: explains the process well.

At this point, you may be thinking, Hang on a minute, I don’t want a Google+ profile, I just want a Google+ page for my website! Bad news: unfortunately, that is not possible. In order to create and maintain a Google+ page for your website, you will require a Google+ profile. A Google+ page must be owned by a Google+ profile, and the Google+ page will share the fate of the Google+ profile that owns it, in that if the Google+ profile that owns a Google+ page is deleted, then the Google+ page will also be deleted. In the Google+ profile you create, the name and the profile picture will be public, thus potentially visible to anyone in the world with internet access, but you can choose which other bits and pieces of information you are willing to fill out, and share with whom. For author mark-up to be verified, the links listed in the Contributor to subsection of the Links section (this will be explained later), in addition to the name and the profile picture, will need to be public. For editing your profile and controlling visibility, read

Establishing links between Google+ entities and your site

Having created a Google+ profile and a Google+ page, you can set about linking them to your website. As mentioned at the beginning of this piece, your Google+ profile, representing you the person, can be marked up as the author of web content on your site, and your Google+ page, representing your website, can be marked up as the publisher of web content on your site. You do not have to set up both author and publisher mark-ups, and you can choose one or the other, depending on the nature of your site. At the moment, author mark-up may become visible in Google search results, but not the publisher mark-up, in the form a profile picture appearing next to search results.

Let’s look at establishing the author mark-up or authorship for your web content: you will need to link from your Google+ profile to your site, and vice versa. On your Google+ profile’s About page, under the Links section, you will find a subsection called Contributor to. You will need to list the root domain name of your site, such as, and set the visibility to Public: this will cover all the pages in that domain, however subdomains are considered separate sites, so you will need to list them separately, for example, if you host your blog at, then you will need to list that as well as

As well as establishing a connection from your Google+ profile to your site, you will need to connect your site to your Google+ profile. There are two ways of achieving this connection from your site to your Google+ profile, as described at In short, either you can use an e-mail address on the same domain as on which your content appears, such as for (Option 1), or you can place a rel=author link from your site to your Google+ profile (Option 2). If you use Option 2, make sure that the link goes back to[numbers]?rel=author and not[numbers]?rel=author.

Establishing the publisher mark-up is similar to to what you have to do to establish the author mark-up: you will need to link to your site from your Google+ page, and from your site to the Google+ page. On your Google+ page, go to the About page, and edit the Links section to add your site’s address under Website. On your website, you will need to add a rel=publisher link to the Google+ page, as explained at Like in rel=author, the address should be without /u/0/b.

There is a major difference between Google+ profiles and Google+ pages in that a Google+ profile can be an author for many sites, however a Google+ page can be a publisher for only one site. As mentioned above, subdomains are treated as different websites, so if your website is organized into different subdomains, then you may have to choose which one to associate with your Google+ page, or create multiple Google+ pages for each of the subdomains.

Checking implementation

Once you have added author and publisher mark-ups, use the Structured Data Testing Tool at to check that you have implemented them correctly. If you have successfully implemented author and publisher mark-ups, then the tool will state Authorship is working for this webpage and Publisher markup is verified for this page. There are additional requirements for authorship, in the form of your profile picture appearing alongside the link to your site in Google search, which are outlined at Note that even if you meet all the requirements, such does not constitute a guarantee that Google will show your profile picture.

Help! I have a question

The processes can be complicated and confusing, and there are a number of places where you can seek assistance. The Google+ Help at is a good starting point as it contains relevant documents explaining how things work. But they may not be clear, or you have questions that are not covered adequately by the documents you find at Google+ Help, then you can ask post queries about Google+ at the Help forum at!forum/google-plus-discuss or at the Google+ Discuss community at There is also a very active Google+ community called Google Authorship & Author Rank at where you will find a tremondous amount of expertise related to authorship.