Goodbye Google Authorship

Jul
11

Written by Brad McHargue. Posted in Google Updates

Wondering why your headshot is no longer showing up in search results for your blog post? On June 25, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller announced that Google would be removing author photos and Google+ view counts from search results.

To be clear, this does not mean that Google Authorship is entirely dead, but the headshots and view counts are.

Google Rich Snippets Testing Tool Screen Shot - Big Footprint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, does this render authorship worthless? In short… no. Let’s review what changed and what will stay the same.

Changes:

  • Headshot is no longer shown. (Previously important for improving CTR to a blog post).
  • Google+ view counts are removed. (Proved popularity and validated an author’s expertise to the searcher).

Staying The Same:

  • Author’s name appears in search results with a link to their associated Google+ profile.

The loss of the headshot in search results is a blow for marketers. It made sense. On a search engine results page, where text dominates the eye, a headshot was an easy way to differentiate your listing from the masses. One theme that continually prevails in every Google update is that quality is the name of the game. Even when headshots were included in search results, Google did make clear that they had the right to show or hide an image based on relevance to the searcher.

Google Authorship Screen Shot - Big Footprint Digital

 

 

 

I believe that long-term authorship will remain valuable. How Google measures that value is not clear, but I am sure quality, the authority of the website(s) the content is on, and frequency will all be factors. Even without authorship, creating great content with utility will add depth, freshness, and thought leadership to your website.

For more information on how to expand your digital footprint, view other articles on the Big Footprint SEO Blog.