Oct 072016
Authorship schema.org CreativeWork image

Time to start Authorship Markup is aimed at anyone interested in microformat for authors. It’s a general commentary about current options for applying author markup.

I started this project when Google Authorship was a hot topic. It became obvious to me that Google would eventually replace their methods with Rich Snippets. I still haven’t found any public recognition of this. But, Rich Snippets is definitely increasingly popular among webmasters. I’ve had too many other projects to contend with. But now, I need to adopt structured data across all my websites.

I just had a realization that structured data is key to my resource websites. I’ve been struggling with various plugins for organizing my resource data. It just occurred to me that I must forget complicated plugins. I just need a simple 3-point strategy:

  • A way to apply structured data markup.
  • Google Custom Search.
  • A good table layout and filter tool

Anyway, that’s getting away from author identification. Though, it might have relevance later, applied to multiple-author and community websites. For this article, I’ll focus on applying structured data markup.

Authorship Markup

Some time ago, I found Implementing JSON-LD in WordPress from Richard Baxter. I loved that for its simplicity. I made a note to consider implementing it as soon as time allowed. Today, I took a second look. But, I noticed it was not implemented on the author’s own website. I checked the comments for potential updates. Nothing there, except some indication that the code needed tweaking for recent schema.org changes to specs. Oh, and a very useful link to schema plugin developments from leapfroggr. But, that also seemed out of date. So, I checked in the WordPress Plugin Repository for JSON-LD plugins. After some hunting, and checking, I found 3 potentials:

Markup (JSON-LD) structured in schema.org
This looked like it had all I needed with markup for Article, BlogPosting, Event, Organization, Person, and Website. Later, I realized it doesn’t list Products. So, it might not be a contender. I’m leaving it as a last resort on my list. There’s no documentation! I searched for the plugin name. I thought I’d found all my answers. But, it turned out, I found an article about a different plugin…
WP SEO Structured Data Schema
This seems almost perfect, and I’ll be trying it first. It certainly seems exactly what I need for my resource databases. But, it seems weak for Author identification. Person is not included in the list of schema types. And, there is a support topic Author “type” is a “Thing”… should be a “Person”, which suggests other problems.
WPSSO Schema JSON-LD Markup – Schema / Structured Data / Rich Snippet Markup
This might be overkill, as it’s an add-on to a plugin that gives lots support for Social Sharing Optimization (SSO). I’ll leave it on the list as an alternative, if my preferred option doesn’t work.

There might be others, but these seem to be the most likely candidates.

I’ll test these for a few weeks. I’ll obviously focus on ease-of-use for Products, Websites, and Articles. But, Person markup is also crucial, as I need to involve many people to maintain resource databases. However, that context might be different. For Wondrous Me websites, I believe the Person-Organization-Website-Article relationships are most important.

Authorship schema.org CreativeWork image

Better mindmap coming soon!

I’ll update this, as I introduce new structured data procedures. In case I forget, I should mention Multi Rating WordPress Plugin. That started me looking at structured data again. I’m not sure where it might fit for authorship. But, I can see it might have potential for website/article reviews. And that must impact authors, I think.

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