Google+ Author and Publisher Connections With hAtom Feeds

That title might sound scary, but all of these things can only help your search engine rankings and improve the visual appeal of your website on Google. Let’s take a look at each one and then we’ll get into how to implement them on your site. The example site used in this article is my own and as you might already know, I’m using WordPress. Since this is more of an informative post as opposed to an actual guide, you should be able to add these items on any other blogging platform or CMS.

Google+ Author Link

Let me say first that if you don’t already have a Google+ account, you really need to set one up. Even if you don’t plan on using it as much as Facebook, get one so you can at least get your website more connected on the web.

Google sample searchThe purpose behind the author link is to tell Google that you are the author of the content being ranked in the search results. The single most important reason for this is so you can verify your content to the world. This not only helps Google weed out the plagiarists, but it also helps to single you out on the results page. Take a look at the image to the right to see a sample search I did on Google for “nexus 4.” If you’re like most people, there are two search results that probably stood out more than anything else. One of them is for TechCrunch and the other is for William Rothman. Both of these articles are benefiting from having the Google+ author link connecting their websites to their Google+ profile.

  1. On your posts, modify (or create) the link from your full name so it links to your Google+ profile, but add ?rel=author to it. For example, my link looks like this: <a href="">Brandon Hann</a>
  2. Head on over to your Google+ account and add a new link under the section “Contributor to”
  3. Make sure this link matches exactly. For example, I put because if I put, it won’t match.

Those are the basic steps to making this connection, but if you’re using WordPress, it gets even easier! Just download the Google Plus Author Information plugin. This will create a new field in your user profile for inputting your Google+ link. By doing that, it also replaces the link associated with your name on all posts with your Google+ link and adds the proper link relationship. The other advantage for using the plugin is if you have multiple authors on your site, each one can have their own link within their user profile and have it reflect properly without any manual editing.

Google+ Publisher Link

Google Publisher sampleSimilar to the author link above, the publisher link also creates a cohesion between your website and Google+, but this time the link connects to a Google+ page. Just like on Facebook, you can have a profile and a page with Google+. The difference between the two is that profiles can have friends in their circles and pages can only have followers.

To create a Google+ page,

  1. On your Google+ profile, click Pages at the bottom of the menu on the left.
  2. Click on Create New Page and choose a category.
  3. Fill out the necessary information and save.
  4. When you add a link to your company (or blog) website, click Verify Link.
  5. Add the following code to an area on your site. If you use WordPress, add it to your header or footer so it appears on all pages and posts. <a href="[yourpageID]" rel="publisher">Find us on Google+</a>

If you don’t want to have an actual link on your site, you can use the span tag to implement the link on your site without the text itself. I found a great guide on how to complete all the steps required for your site automatically. Since there doesn’t appear to be a WordPress plugin yet, this is the best way to implement the required code. Check out the Google+ Publisher guide at MarketingTechBlog. This guide also outlines the manual steps of adding authorship links if you’re not using a plugin.

Google doesn’t provide any information on when these changes will take effect, but it’s commonly believed that a Google+ page has to have a significant amount of followers in order to be placed in the publisher section. But it doesn’t hurt to have everything set up while you’re building up your follower list!

hAtom Feeds

According to Wikipedia, hAtom is defined as:

hAtom is a draft Microformat for marking up (X)HTML, using classes and rel attributes, content on web pages that contain blog entries or similar chronological content. These can then be parsed as feeds in Atom, a web syndication standard.

hAtom feed sampleTo Google, this is important information that can be used to show rich-text snippets in the search results. Along with the authorship connection made above, using the correct hAtom information is key to helping Google display basic information correctly. As a WordPress user, sometimes not everything is properly constructed when dealing with themes and whatnot, so here’s another quick fix to help you reduce or eliminate all errors on your site’s posts.

To begin, run a scan on a specific page on your site using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool found in your Google Webmaster Tools account. If you have no errors, great! You might be able to skip this step. However, many people are having these three common issues:

1. Warning: Missing required field “entry-title”.
2. Warning: Missing required field “updated”.
3. Warning: Missing required hCard “author”.

All three of these issues are very easily fixed. Go to your WordPress admin and open the theme editor. Begin editing your single.php file or whatever filename your theme chose for the posts on your site. Follow the follow steps:

  1. Find <?php the_title(); ?> and wrap it with a new span class, like this: <span class="entry-title"><?php the_title(); ?></span>
  2. Find <?php the_time(‘F d, Y’) ?> (may also be listed as <?php echo get_the_date();>) and wrap it with: <span class="date updated"><?php the_time('F d, Y') ?></span>
  3. Find <?php the_author(); ?> (or some variant of that) and wrap it with: <span class="vcard author"><span class="fn"><?php the_author(); ?></span></span>

Once you save this file, re-run the test with Google again and you should see these errors gone!

Tying it all together

As mentioned before, getting all of these connections made does not guarantee any of your results will be enhanced overnight, but doing this is a great idea to keep your site organized and displaying the proper information at all times. You never know what Google will do for your search results, so it’s always best to maintain the best practices up front just in case. As for me, it took about 2 weeks for me to get the rich-text snippets and I had to do it all over again after I deleted my Google+ profile…long story on that one, but once again I’m waiting for Google to make the updates. We’ll see how well it goes this time around. I’ll post updates if anything major happens.

Multiple WordPress Multi-User Installations

I’ve scoured the Internet looking for the answer to this question and I have found it. The question was, can you you install multiple WordPressMU blogs and have them run under one webhost. The short answer is no. However, as with most things in the online world, it is possible with the right “tool”.

If you’re wondering why I would want to have two separate installs of this, it’s because I have more than one client on my web server, each of which are running their own sites. This is fine for most applications, but when you start dabbling in things like SSL certificates and wildcard sub-domains, that’s when the trouble starts. These are just two items that require their own IP address.

One of my clients would like to run multiple blogs on his WordPress Network, but because I’m already doing that for, I’m essentially blocking him from doing so. This is because is the main domain on my server and any changes utilizing different ports such as 443 for SSL certificates or services like WordPressMU that use wildcard sub-domains have to go through the server’s IP address and since this IP is assigned to my domain, his will not work.

The way WordPressMU works is once you convert your WordPress install into a network, you have the ability to add new sites to it. These sites utilize all of the main structure of the original WordPress installation while creating a separate blog directory inside the wp-content folder to store all of that blog’s specific files such as media uploads and so forth. Plugins and theme are then made available to all sites provided that you (the network admin) have made them available. The advantages here are that you no longer have to install a whole new copy of WordPress, create a new database, download all the same themes and plugins or manage different webhost accounts every time you want to start a new blog. Everything except the media files are shared. You can imagine how much faster updates are too!

Anyway, to make this happen, you need to create a wildcard sub-domain ‘A’ record in your DNS server that points * to your server’s IP address. This is needed because when you create a new site on your network, a virtual subdomain is created. An example of this is my personal blog site, When I created it in my network, I was actually creating

The real magic happens with a feature called Domain Mapping. This is where you can map a real domain (provided it’s been added to your DNS server) to any virtual WordPress site you have created. Using the same example, I was able to map the domain to my virtual blog,, so when you access either of those URLs, you’ll wind up at Make sense?!

WordPressMU Domain Mapping

So all this is fine and dandy when you’re working with one server, one IP address and one main domain, but in my case, another client of mine would like to create his own network. The problems begin when you try to create the wildcard sub-domain. While doing this is possible and serves a valuable function—allowing him to create his own real sub-domains—it does nothing for WordPressMU!

I’ve contacted my webhost, I’ve ran all over Google and even tried Bing out for the first time looking for some help with this and eo far I’ve found two answers. First, I keep getting sent to sets of instructions that allow you use vhost.conf files in your client’s vhost container to allow the use of a wildcard sub-domain. This process basically has you creating a conf file that you then configure into Apache to tell the server that you want it to be included into the configuration for that site. It’s great for adding site-specific features to httpd.conf without affecting your whole server.

The second answer I get is the correct one. You can’t use WordPressMU on two separate installations without an additional static IP address! To verify this, all you have to do is install it on another client on your same server and watch what happens when you try to access one of the the virtual blog sites. Here’s what it does: is the main domain attached to the server’s ONLY IP address. is a virtual blog site created inside the WordPressMU installation. is the domain that is mapped to the sub-domain above.
If you access, you are really only looking at is in another client’s hosting account on the same server and same IP address. is a virtual blog that’s created inside the WordPressMU installation.
If you access, you are redirected to with an error about registrations being closed.

The reason for that is because is being read as a sub-domain of!!

I hope you’re not confused. More so, I hope someone who reads this is laughing their head off because they know the way around all this. Oh and by the way, I’m not try to escape having to purchase a separate IP address. It’s just that my host won’t sell me one without a valid reason and apparently this doesn’t count because they said it’s possible to use one address!

What can BlogGlue do for you?

UPDATE: BlueGlue is no longer in service. Per an email I received yesterday, the company running BlogGlue has decided to shut down the service and seek some sort of buyout. It’s possible that this service could be resurrected under a new owner, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It was fun while it lasted! I’m leaving this article up for historical purposes, but will be removing all outgoing links. This was the email sent out to all users:

BlogGlue Closed

Original article:

Just over 1 year ago, I joined a little known website called Arkayne. I even wrote about how to drive focused traffic to your site with Arkayne being the central topic. The purpose of Arkayne was to enhance your blog’s presence by connecting the posts you create with other blog owners who write about similar topics. It was such a simple concept; one that has helped my site grow in ways I didn’t think were possible. Today, Arkayne is now BlogGlue and their concept has remained simple, but has become much more powerful.

For me, blogging isn’t about ranking high in search engines or making thousands of dollars a day selling useless information or products—it’s about sharing ideas and providing valuable information about the things I know with people who want to learn. Of course, if I made thousands of dollars doing this, that would be great, but I don’t intend to sacrifice quality for quantity. This is where BlogGlue really helps out.

BlogGlue Partnerships

The give and take process of BlogGlue starts with a recommendation. As you browse the ever-growing community of blogs, you’ll start noticing many websites that share some common interests with your site. As you click through each one, you can choose the ones you like based on how well they complement your site and submit a recommendation.

The site owners you recommended are then notified of your recommendation and have the option to review your site. If they like what they see and recommend you back, you both become partners. At that point, your blogs are linked.

The plugin

The BlogGlue plugin on your site will add Related Links at the bottom of each post. It gets these links from your partners, so it’s important not to just add every partner under the sun to increase your count. Your site, your partners’ sites and your visitors will all benefit from these partnerships.

The process works both ways as well. Your links will start appearing on partner’s sites in the same location. This is the main function of BlogGlue and it works really well! The more partners you have, the most choices the plugin will have in pulling quality content. And as you would imagine, if you don’t like a particular site’s content, simply delete them as a partner and their links will never show up again!

When writing a post, the plugin also offers some instant help with basic SEO tips. After you saved your first draft, you can click the Test Now button and see exactly what you might be missing and how you can improve the page’s optimization.

The costs

There are three service plans available.

  • Free – $0.00/month – You accept up to 5 partners, but you can have unlimited recommendations. Your site content is limited to 200 pages/posts.
  • Basic – $9.97/month – You can have up 15 partners and still have unlimited recommendations. Your site content is limited to 1000 pages/posts.
  • Unlimited – $19.97/month – You can have unlimited partners and unlimited recommendations. Your site content is limited to 5000 pages/posts.

The best part about these plans is that you can grow into them. Start out free and as you start to notice your traffic increasing, just upgrade instantly to the next plan. At some point, your site will be getting hundreds or thousands of hits a day and the unlimited plan will be needed, but you’ll likely be making money at that point!

There are no contracts, hidden fees, cancellation charges, upgrade charges, taxes, etc, etc.! What you see is what you get.

My two cents

I’ve been using BlogGlue for over a year now and I can tell you just by looking at my stats, they have helped my site grow almost 300% and the numbers continue to rise as I become partners with more and more quality blogs. Their customer support has been super gracious and exceptionally fast with any issues I’ve had and I haven’t had many…that’s for sure.

I can’t say enough great things about the operation they’re running over there. Check them out over at