co Why rel=author Might Not Be Your Best Bet |

Google Authorship has been a hot item in SEO circles and where Internet marketers hang out. It hasn’t really caught on in the broader market – yet. But you should know about it.

The rel=author tag was intended for articles that are written by the same author. What has some people confused, however, is whether or not it’s a useful tag for when you are writing and publishing articles under a pseudonym, a mascot, or a persona representing your company. Google says no.

That’s right. Google doesn’t want you to use the rel=author markup for any author other than a real person.

In other cases, when your company mascot or persona is the author, then you should use the rel=publisher tag because that is the tag you want to associate with your company profile. It makes sense.

But what about pseudonyms? This is where it gets sticky.

If you are an author (say, a novelist or essayist) who writes under a pseudonym then, presumably, your pseudonym is a real person. I think, in that case, you want to use rel=author on articles written by your pseudonym. On the other hand, if you have several pseudonyms and you publish under all those names on your flagship website, you should probably use rel=publisher for your pseudonyms. If you disclose your real name as the author behind the pseudonym, that’s a bit like having a mascot or persona. It’s a fine distinction but worth noting.