Google Drops Authorship Photos from SERPs: What does this mean for you?

In the beginning the invitation was open to all- it was easy to implement rel=author code and get authorship snippets for your content. But in December 2013, Google began cutting down authorship results in search. At that time the authorship snippet of all the less known authors began disappearing. The latest development is how Google is rewarding the winners. The award is for those who have established themselves as a trusted and authoritative writer.

Why You Should Still Work on Authorship?

Let’s be clear here. The latest development does not mean the end of Google authorship. Writers can continue to establish authorship connections between the Google+ profile and their content. Authoritative writers will still get a byline and it seems Google will keep tracking data on authors for future author rank system.

If you are wondering how your CTR will drop with Google abandoning the author photo in search results, have a look at the Author Stats tab in Google Webmaster Tools. Find the changes in your CTRs, how many times your author information has appeared in search results, total clicks on your content and the average position. Use the tool to find the loopholes and optimize the posts which get less visibility.

Although a byline is not as prominent as a profile photo, it is no less than the profile picture when it comes to increasing your online visibility. Above all, what is important is authorship does not change rankings on search results. The photos may give you more CTRs, but are not going to improve your ranking anyway.

What is the Future of the Authorship?

In this month’s SMX Advance Conference in Seattle, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Search Spam, said Google is in favor of this whole concept of authorship. So, what we can interpret from all these changes is although the head shot no longer appears in search results, authorship still has its own advantages. It might be of help to you when Google incorporates more “Author Rank” factors into its search algorithm. If you establish yourself as an authoritative writer now, it may pay you in the long run.

Why Should You Still Use Google+?

If you are planning to dump Google+, think again. You can still implement authorship mark up and share your content via Google+. Creating your profile on Google+ is actually a great PR strategy. In addition, +1s do influence rankings. Although Google is restricting the reasons for us to use Google+, there are still some good reasons why you should keep using Google’s social media platform.

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10 years ago

Just caught this change in an SEO newsletter I get & wanted to learn more. I didn’t notice before because my head shot is still showing up … but it’s for micro posts written on G+. I’ve sense for a long time that google ultimately wants to populate 100% of page 1 SERP with google properties and this seems to be part of it, e.g. driving more people to publish on G+?

My post on building materials is #3 organic & above wikipedia which makes no sense?
In addition to standard SERP results, there are now images … and brand new (to me), 3 in-depth articles by NYTimes, Smithsonian & Inhabitat – my best guess is Google’s doing semantic research with these articles, hmm

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