Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog

All Your Questions about Rel=Publisher, Answered

Last week there was a pretty big SERPs test spotted from Google: “In-depth” articles that appear to be triggered from trusted sources of information:


There are a few reasons why, if it takes off, it will be huge news for SEOs:

  • We’ll have to figure out what Google considers “in-depth”
  • We’ll have to figure out how to get that additional exposure in search for our own sites

The fact that Google appears to be using Google Plus page pictures of the verified sites to show in SERPs has made us all wondering: “What does rel=”publisher” markup have to do with it?”

Let’s recap what we’ve known about rel=”publisher” so far:

Is rel=”publisher” authorship verification method?


The fact that rel=”publisher” was introduced together with rel=”author” caused that confusion… In reality:

  • Rel=”author” verifies authorship
  • Rel=”publisher” verifies your brand identity

Here’s a quick deck that visualizes the difference pretty well:

We can only assume how rel=”publisher” and rel=”author” are going to be connected in the future, but so far these will be just educated theories.

So what exactly does rel=”publisher” do?

Glad that you asked…

If you didn’t have any patience to view the few slides above, I’m happy to re-cap: rel=”publisher” verifies that your Google Plus page is your “official” website page.

Thanks to rel=”publisher” your Google plus page is connected to your website and that results in your Google Plus page being displayed in search results whenever anyone is searching for your brand name:


Obviously, this means your brand SERPs are better controlled and better targeted.

So how do I use the markup?

It’s very easy.

Here’s a good detailed explanation..

To make your life even easier: You simply need to link from your site home page to your Google Plus page using rel=”publisher” (Google hasn’t invented link bait but they are actively using it…)

Update your site’s home page by adding a link to your Google+ page, like this:

<a href="[yourpageID]"  rel="publisher">Find us on Google+</a>

Now, if I use rel=”publisher”, will my site rank higher?


There’s no official statement as to how rel=”publisher” is going to affect rankings. Possibly, even Google doesn’t know yet…

Do you have any more questions? Please ask them in the comments and I’ll update this article with the answer!


55 Responses

  1. 2 more questions:

    – how to exactly verify that google sees my rel=”publisher”.

    – when my Google Plus page will be displayed in search results? (do I need to have some amount of brand searches, or google plus followers?)

  2. rel=publisher is an idea that Google seem to do have done nothing with in the last 18 months or so.

    My plugin, AuthorSure ( handles rel=author and rel=publisher completely in line with how Google and this article mandate, but it seems that Google seems to have got cold feet over the Authorship project due to the lack-lustre 9% take-up.

    “Face in SERPS” works fine, but “logo in SERPS” is just not happening.

    Show me the search phrase where the rel=publisher Google+ page logo/profile image appears in the SERPS.

    Right now “Internet Marketing Ninjas” is not showing any additional listing with logos. Just like nothing is shown for any brand.

    You can get transitory results with rel=author and a Google+ profile image that is the logo instead of a face. However it stays there for only a limited time before Google’s (highly effective Ukranian) face recognition software strips it out.

    It’s about time Google got given a “Google Slap” and that got their act together on this

  3. Hi There,

    I have a question please 🙂

    I have a site where I publish lectures and books by a particular old time self help author and I also write my own content for the site.

    What I want to do is have rel=publisher for the site and the content from myself such as articles and information use the rel = author.

    Is this possible? Hence I will be branding the site as a publisher and my works as an author.

    I read somewhere that if you use rel= publisher your site only shows up in the serps for the brand name keyword thus rendering all additional seo and keywords etc irrelevant. Is that correct? It odes seem rather limiting if google set it up that way

    Many thanks for your reply


    Carl Bradbrook

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