Finally something in the mysterious and secretive world of SEO has become clear thanks to an accidental slip by the executive chairman and former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt. That is, the use of authorship markup and publisher markup is pretty much guaranteed to improve a pages search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
So now we know this golden nugget of information perhaps it’s time to explain what authorship and publisher markup are and the difference between the two.
Markup language allows you to assign an article, blog post or content on a website to a particular author or publisher. This then lets Google know who the publishers or authors of that websites content are. Ultimately in terms of assignment they are both fairly similar with authorship markup assigning an article to a particular person or “author” and publisher markup assigning an article to a business or “publisher” rather than to any individual person. The key difference is in how Google interprets each markup method. First of all however, it is important to note that for either of the two to effectively improve a sites SERP position and performance it is imperative to have a google + profile for authorship markup or a Google+ page for publisher markup.
We’ve now arrived at the important part and how all this improves a pages search ranking. By using authorship markup (rel = “author”) alongside a Google + profile, as well as giving your website a handy boost up their search rankings Google will also enhance the results connected to that author. This enhancement can include an image of the author and links to their Google+ profile as well as other articles that they have written.
The same applies to using publisher markup (rel = “publisher”, the difference here being the information displayed. With publisher markup Google often enhances the results by displaying a large box alongside the search results within which it includes useful information about the business such as contact details, address, working hours and a link to the website.
It depends on your end goal or business as to which method is the appropriate one for you. Generally, if you’re trying to promote a business then publisher markup is the one to use however if your business revolves more around individuals and their particular skills then it may well be more beneficial to utilise Google authorship markup.