05 Sep 2014
Google Pulls the Plug on Authorship
For just under 3 years, Google Authorship was used to place content higher in search results, but it seems Google has done a complete 180, and turned against its beloved method. First removing Authorship photos, and now the whole concept. Google Webmaster Tools’ John Mueller came out saying that Google will be removing Authorship posts from the search results, as well as stopping all tracking on the ‘rel=author’ tag data.
So What Was Wrong with Authorship?
- While many people are upset about this, having spent quite some time building up their Authorship, others are more than happy, as it seems setting up Authorship was somewhat of a hassle. Many people had tried to set it up, however did not have the correct tools to do so, or the information needed to make the process simpler. This resulted in Authorship that wasn’t set up properly and many people just giving up and not setting it up at all.
- Another main problem with Google Authorship was that users just weren’t gaining any value from it. This meant that it was not getting the results Google had hoped for, and was rather just becoming an additional bother. However, although Authorship has been removed, this doesn’t mean that you won’t still be seeing Google+ results in your search. Photos and Google+ profiles of your connections will still pop up in the search, and these look awfully similar to the previous Authorship design.
The Future is…Google+
So why did Google do all this? Is it all a ploy to replace Authorship with Google+ results and get more people to use Google+? Or is Google really admitting its failings? It seems likely that many people will start focusing on their Google+ profiles and their presence as a means of combatting the lack of Google Authorship that they used to enjoy. Of course, the key here is not to worry. Although Google does enjoy making fast and swift changes, as long as you are still creating unique and interesting content that your audience loves, then there are no problems.
It is also important to note that these changes started quite some time ago. In December 2013, Google started to reduce the amount of author photos that were shown in results, and in June 2014 it removed author photos altogether. This could well have been a pre-determinant for the complete removal of Google Authorship that was to come, however it would be daft to say that it was a good enough hint to evoke people giving up on Authorship and ditching it all together.
While many have now moved on to experimenting with Google+ to try and get themselves and their companies ranking, the future is still uncertain. Google found that the removal of Authorship did not greatly hinder website traffic or click through rates. So what’s next? We will just have to wait and see! For more information or help getting your SEO strategy and Google+ profiles up and running, contact an SEO agency today!