222 - No More Google Authorship
Aug 29 2014

No More Google Authorship

Three years ago Google made a pretty big deal about its great new markup that would allow photos of content authors to appear in search engine results pages.


The ’author’ tag allowed you to associate your content to your Google+ profile and provided the SEO benefit of more clicks to your pages, as users eyes were drawn to the search results with your picture next to it.


It came with rules about the images that you could use for your authorship photo: no company logos, you had to be full facing with both eyes wide open, etc.


These rules, along with the other set-up steps made it a bit fiddly to get working, even with the help of Google Webmaster Tools, but it really was worth the effort.


Yesterday, after three years, Google ended all of this by cancelling the Authorship program completely.


There have been signs that this could happen:


1. Last December they reduced the amount of authorship photos shown per results page


2. In June of this year they removed the author photos and just displayed authorship bylines


So, why exactly has Google ended this authorship program?


1. Low adoption rates – which are probably due to the complexities of setting authorship up


2. Low value to searchers – I don’t really agree with this one, as Google is stating that authorship had little impact on users click behaviour. Personally I always used to be drawn to results with author photos


The real reason is probably because they are Google and everyone knows that they just do what they want! The list of products that Google has introduced and then cancelled would be too long to list in a mere blog, you would probably need to write a book!


So for now, Google Authorship is dead, which I think is not only a shame, but also a real loss to search results. If you’re logged in to Google+when you search, some author images are still being displayed against articles, for now anyway! I wonder how long it will be before that changes too?

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Dave H

As our MD, David finds inspiration from running a busy agency. His SEO and content marketing tips, business-savvy suggestions on keeping your company moving forward and industry expertise will give you that helping hand when it comes to making the most of your time.

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