rel="author" is for relating an article or post to a page or site representing its author, typically to give them credit for their work (or portions of it, like books, articles, blog posts etc).
E.g. a page or a post written by Erin could contain a link like:
<a href="http://erin.example.com/" rel="author">Erin Smith</a>
rel="author" attribute indicates that the destination of the link represents the author of the current page (or post).
This section is informative.
An interesting rel="author" implementation set of examples is brought up by Google in a video posted on Youtube:
query parameter alternative
Google has proposed an alternate mechanism for specifying rel=author on sites/CMSs that don't permit authors to specify the rel attribute, using a query parameter added to the URL instead. e.g. the above example with query parameter:
<a href="http://erin.example.com/?rel=author">Erin Smith</a>
This technique is explained in the following video:
- Authorship markup using URL parameters video and the new implementation procedure with the help of Google Profile (and hopefully, this type of implementation can be used on any other personal BIO page of respective author).
- While I understand the motivation here, this is not a good idea. There will definitely be someone who has ?rel= as an actual query param meaning something in their app, and this will just break things. Singpolyma 17:56, 12 August 2011 (UTC)