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NEW! Author URLs in Article Structured Data

Aug 23, 2021
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In this episode, we're going to be talking today about a new property within the article structured data markup. This is known as Author.URL and it's going to allow us to create a semantic connection between the piece of content and who wrote that piece of content.

Author URLs in Article Structured Data

Video Transcript:

Google recently made an update to the article markup. It has to do with authors and allowing us to add a URL within the structure data. So, in this video, we're going to take a look at that, why it matters, and even how we can begin to use it.

As I said quickly, Google made an update to the structured data help document, which has a section for recommended properties. Within this recommended property section, they've added a space for Author.URL. This is a pretty cool addition to the markup because it allows us to create a linked connection between not just the piece of content, but the author who wrote that piece of content as well.

What is Author.URL?

It's a link to a webpage that uniquely identifies the author of an article. For example, you can have your social media page, maybe the about page on your website, or a bio page. You can also substitute a sameAs property as an alternative. Google can understand both same as and URL when they're disambiguating the author.

Why is this important?

Whether you're creating content across many domains and channels, or you're just creating content for your website, Google will now be able to identify you or any of the other authors on your site and connect that author to that piece of content, no matter where it's published.

This really helps build that web of connections. It helps to connect the author to all the different pieces of content they've written. As Barry Schwartz mentioned in his Search Engine Land article that it may be used for, this is a maybe, the new article carousel for some of the authors that we're seeing in knowledge panels.

Why should you add it?

Let's say, if you're creating content in a specific niche, and you want to grow your authority and trust, this could help send signals to Google about your expertise.

Let's say you create a lot of content, in my case for SEO, digital marketing and online marketing. I want Google to understand that I'm an expert in this field, I have authority and I've created content across many different domains. So, adding in that Author URL could help increase the signals in saying, "Okay, this guy has published not only on his own site, but he's also got pieces of content on a number of other sites, and those are all really highly credible sites. So we can say that this guy might know what he's talking about."

This could be used to really help build that trust. Let's hope that it doesn't get spammed a lot and that this is something that can grow because I think it's really important. This is all part of semantic search. It's all about connecting to the large knowledge graph that we're talking about in linked open web.

This is all part of semantic search. It's all about connecting to the large knowledge graph that we're talking about in linked open web.

This helps add an author signal or author end point to a piece of content, which helps increase the understanding of not just what that article is about, but really who wrote it and if we can trust that individual. 

I think that's what this is getting at the core at and I definitely think it's something that you should consider adding to your article markup. As we said before, this is a recommended property. It's not a must property, so you don't have to add it, but I highly recommend it as well.

How would you go about adding this?

In most cases, we're doing structured data today, leveraging JSON-LD.

"author": [{

    "@type": "Person",

    "name": "Jane Doe",

    "url": "http://example.com/profile/janedoe123"

  },

{

    "@type": "Person",

    "name": "John Doe",

    "sameAs": "http://twitter.com/johndoe123"

}]

In the author section of that, where you would have maybe the name of the person, you now could just add in the property URL and then add a link to your profile or your page. You could also use sameAs. Let's say, you want to use sameAs instead of a URL, and here you can link to your Twitter profile, which would now make that semantic connection between you to your Twitter profile and show that this is the same person. This is not a very hard addition. It's something that you can do with one simple line.

If you want to learn more about how you can scale and leverage structured data to earn rich features in search and to grow your traffic by attracting the right users and really having something that stands out and sets your site apart, you need to learn how to leverage structured data and how to follow the Google guidelines so that you can earn those rich features. I've got a course that walks you through this, it's Mastering Structured data in schema.org for Rich Results.

You can get 25% off by using the code YouTube. Go to learn.simplifiedsearch.net to get started. I hope you enjoyed this video and learned something new. If you've got any questions, please comment below. And until next time, happy marketing.

Mastering Structured Data

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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