How to Implement Rel=Publisher
By Kevin Getch
What is Rel=Publisher and why should I set it up?
Rel=Publisher markup allows you to associate your website with your Google+ page thereby giving Google yet another trust factor that your Google+ page is in fact owned by you. Another great benefit of establishing rel=publisher is that it allows Google to prominently display your business information next to the search results when people search for your brand.
Brand name searches usually convert at a fairly high rate, but just because they’re considering your company doesn’t mean that they’ve made their decision. During this critical decision making time it is important you put your best foot forward. Setting up rel=publisher allows your brand page to show up prominently to the right of the search results like in the picture below.
Besides prominently displaying your logo, it also can show recent posts from your Google+ page, your website link, phone number and address making it easy for your potential customer to make contact with you.
Your potential customer can also add you to their “circles” directly from within the search results deepening their relationship with you on Google+. When someone adds your business to their circle on Google+ your future posts can show up in their timeline keeping you top of mind. Now, because they have you in their circles when they search again in the future you’re results are more likely to appear in the search results for them. If that isn’t reason enough for you to set up rel=publisher, I don’t know what is.
Instructions for setting up rel=publisher for enhanced brand recognition
First, you need to be signed in and go to your Google+ page (If you don’t already have a page you will need to create a Google+ page first). Click on the “About” section. Scroll down to where you’re website is under links. If a link to your website is not there you should add it. If it hasn’t been verified already you will see a button next to your website that says, “Link Website” like in the image below.
Go ahead and click on it. Once you do, if you have a Google Webmaster Tools account associated with the same account that you’re using for Google+ you can literally just click a button and you’re done. It will still sometimes take a week to start showing up in search results, but that was pretty easy right?
If there is already a webmaster tools account associated with your domain, but it is not set up with the same email you’re using for Google+ you will see a message like this below.
You can send a request to your webmaster to approve the connection. Once they receive it they will be able to simply approve it and that’s it. You’re done.
Another option for establishing rel=publisher for your brand is to manually copy and paste a snippet of code into your websites code and then verify it. You can choose this option by clicking on the area where it says, “You can also link your website directly”. After you click it you will see this.
Once you’ve added the code you can click the blue “Test website” button. If installed correctly you will now be verified. After you’ve verified the site you will see a round gray circle with a check mark like this.
Now that you have rel=publisher set up, let’s verify that it has been done correctly using the rich snippets testing tool. If you already have authorship set up you will see this first and will have to scroll down farther to see the Publisher markup verification section. If you haven’t set up Authorship you should check out my recent blog, How to Implement Rel=Author for Enhanced Search Results. If everything is set up correctly you will see the message in green like in the image below.
Hopefully this was simple enough for you to follow and you’ve already verified your site and set up rel=publisher. If not Google also has instructions on how to link your G+ page to your website.
If you have any questions or tips please add them to the comments below.