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One writer, multiple brands - rel=author across several blogs

Taking advantage of rel=author without revealing that I write it all

5:36 pm on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Our company has a few different brands, each with their own domain and site. These are not microsites intended to drive traffic to a main site; they all have independent e-commerce functions, full product lines, etc. Imagine we run Plumbing Widgets Inc, Kitchen Remodeling Company, and Springfield Countertops. It's not immediately obvious to surfers that one parent company operates all of these brands, and we're fine with that. Since there's some product overlap on the sites, we own a lot of SERP real estate for some money KWs, which is great.

We'd like to create a blog for each of these sites/brands. Here's where it gets tricky. After doing some reading, I am persuaded that using rel=author will help us with SERP CTR and possibly rankings themselves. I am going to be writing all of the blog content, at least to start. I don't think I want to rel=author myself on all of these discrete blogs, do I? And surface the fact that one person is the head writer for the blogs of all these brands?

Creating blogging pseudonyms doesn't seem like a good idea, since part of the value of rel=author is genuine social engagement, and creating social personas that seem genuine is probably more trouble than it's worth. (Not to mention icky and dishonest.) Should I choose a customer service rep or manager for each brand and use their names and social identities (with their permission, obviously)? It seems like that would involve challenges of its own. I've ghostwritten for one business owner before, but this is on a larger, more complex scale. Any insights are appreciated!