What does rel=”author” mean?

The author markup rel=”author” makes it possible to define the author of a web document. There are also other ways to tell Google about the author of a document.

What does rel=”author” mean?

With the rel=”author” tag on a link, it is possible for search engines to link to the biography page of the author of a document and thus establish a connection to the author.

How was rel=”author” used by Google?

For a while, Google used the rel=”author” attribute to display author images in search results. So at that time, there could be an advantage to using the markup to add a graphic element to your search results.

In 2014, the fun was over and Google ended this practice.

What other forms of author markups are there?

In addition to the rel=”author” attribute, there are other ways to specify the authors of a document.

Authorship in the HTML document header

On the one hand, there is the option of identifying the author of a text or a web page in the <head> area of the HTML document. The meta element with the attribute “name=”author”” is used for this purpose:

<meta name="author" content="Bugs Bunny">.

Authorship as Structured Data

Schema.org gives webmasters many different ways to define authors of a text, a page, a recipe, or a large number of other ‘things’.

Google Search Console offers information on markup with structured data, and this can provide a good entry point into the subject.


It is a good idea to identify the author(s) of a document. For this purpose, rel=”author” can be used, as can other types of structured data. If the rel=”author” tag is already in place, it can continue to be used without any problems.

Steve Paine