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Track Multiple Authors


Can Parse.ly track multiple authors? Do we split attribution between coauthors? What format should I use to specify co-authors in json-ld or repeated metatags? How does Parse.ly interpret metadata that includes author , creator, and contributor? What happens if I specify an author name in json but then have a different author name in a repeated metatag? We’ll cover all those questions here in our guide on how to track multiple authors.

Capabilities

Yes, Parse.ly can track multiple authors. When we receive properly formatted metadata, we will display a list of authors associated with each piece of content.

A Parse.ly post listings display where multiple authors contributed to an article.
Post listings will display the first author and will indicate additional authors with “+”. Hovering over the author name reveals more authors.
A Parse.ly post details page where multiple authors contributed to an article.
Post details pages reveal all author names in the same view.

When we have a post from multiple authors, we give each contributor 100% of the credit for page views. By clicking on any of the author names in the list, we will go to the author page in the Dashboard. This would give us a list of all the posts that author contributed to. From there, we can click “Co-Authors” to see who else worked with this author.

A Parse.ly author page where we can track co-authors.

In this example, these four authors collaborated on this one piece of content. Therefore, they each receive 100% of credit for page views and other metrics.

Specifying multiple authors

We accept metadata in the form of json-ld or repeated meta tags. Let’s look at each format.

JSON-LD

With JSON-LD, we’re specifying our author names with a list of strings in our creator array.

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
	"@context": "http://schema.org",
	"@type": "NewsArticle",
	"headline": "Best pizza in town",
	"url": "https://www.example.com/post/best-pizza-in-town",
	"thumbnailUrl": "https://www.example.com/tumblr-pizza-logo.png",
	"datePublished": "2024-01-24T16:00:00Z",
	"articleSection": "Reviews",
	"creator": ["Donnie", "Leo", "Mikey", "Raph"],
	"keywords": ["editor: April", "city guide", "reviews: pizza"]
}
</script>

Repeated Meta Tag

When specifying multiple authors with repeated meta tags, we repeat the meta tag called “parsely-author”.

<meta name="parsely-title" content="Best pizza in town" />
<meta name="parsely-link" content="https://www.example.com/post/best-pizza-in-town" />
<meta name="parsely-type" content="post" />
<meta name="parsely-image-url" content="https://www.example.com/tumblr-pizza-logo.png" />
<meta name="parsely-pub-date" content="2024-01-24T16:00:00Z" />
<meta name="parsely-section" content="Reviews" />
<meta name="parsely-author" content="Donnie" />
<meta name="parsely-author" content="Leo" />
<meta name="parsely-author" content="Mikey" />
<meta name="parsely-author" content="Raph" />
<meta name="parsely-author" content="April O'Neil" />
<meta name="parsely-tags" content="editor: April, city guide, reviews: pizza" />

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I use a combination of author, contributor, and creator?

If you want to track multiple authors in this manner, we will review the values associated with each of these keys. We first look at creator, then contributor, and then author. We combine all of the values into a single list. From there, we will try to deduplicate values. If there are variations in your values, you may experience duplicates.

For example, "creator": ["L. Simpson"] plus contributor: ["Lisa S."] will result in having an article attributed to two forms of Lisa Simpson.

What if I use JSON-LD and repeated meta tags?

If you specify authors in JSON and meta tags, then the meta tags will override the JSON. We won’t merge author values, we’ll simply overlook the JSON value for the author name.

That’s not to say that you’re not allowed to use both. You could have some JSON information and you may want to supplement that with meta tags. Or maybe you have JSON information that you want to overwrite. That’s perfectly fine if that’s what you intend.

Troubleshooting

Improperly specifying multiple authors can cause problems. One of the most common problems is joining two authors together into a single listing. Doing this will cause issues for both authors involved. What will happen is each author will have their own listings but they won’t get credit for the shared listing. Instead, the shared listing will be for a person that does not exist.

I created this example problem scenario with the following incorrrect code:

<meta name="parsely-author" content="Raph, Mikey" />

If you are a developer, you can fix this by following our recommended formatting and performing a recrawl.

If you are not a developer and you need a solution to hold you over, then you can create an author group to keep track of your listings.

Additional Resources

If you have any technical questions about how to track multiple authors, please contact support@parsely.com.

If you’re an author trying to make the most of Parse.ly, contact your Relationship Manager or value@parsely.com for personalized strategic information.

Last updated: February 05, 2024