Google Begins Implement Changes to Authorship
Google implements changes regularly. Often changes are small and generate very little awareness. At other times, changes are monumental and create much hype in the online world. Google clearing authorship photos and Google+ social circle numbers from search results is one of those much discussed (and mostly scorned) times.
This is a fairly major change, particularly for people who spent vested time in creating a dynamic profile and building their Google+ brand, as it is now relatively useless. However, we are not ones to dwell on situations we have no control over. The answer to this change is not to spurn Google (well, only for a little bit) but rather to adapt and alter your SEO techniques to accommodate and make the most of this change.
So now the big question – Will this affect my SEO?
As expected, Google’s John Muller says no.
Many critics and the public are saying yes.
We say – only if you let it.
While this may seem like the end of the world if you have spent huge amounts of time on your Google+ profile, it is important to know this hasn’t gone to waste. Your name will still appear next to your site on Google search results and this will continue to link through to your Google+ account.
We have outlined below some of the major points regarding the latest Google update to authorship.
Why is Google doing this?
According to many people Google’s ads were getting fewer clicks because of the appeal of a “real face” in the Google listings. We, too, can’t help but think that indeed, Google ads are now going to get far more clicks thanks to the update. According to Muller, Google wants to de-clutter the visual elements of a search, declaring this change will help with consistency across all devices including mobile, tablet and laptop.
So, what is actually changing?
In the past, authorship photos showed in searches 22% of the time, this has recently dropped to 0% thanks to the update. Whilst in the past Google used to show your photo with your name (linked to your Google+ account) and the number of followers in your social circle, now there is just the name and link.
What about my ranking?
Apparently rankings aren’t set to change because of this update. However, no one can deny the appeal of a search result with a real person, therefore it is possible sites could see a decrease in traffic if they were using authorship images, however at the moment we are unsure the extent to which this will affect sites and only time will tell.
Where to from here?
It is hard to say the extent these changes on authorship on authorship will have on your sites traffic. What you can ensure you do to remain relevant in the ever-changing world of SEO is to post unique, worthwhile content. It is impossible to predict what types of changes Google will undertake next, so ensuring other areas of your SEO strategy are still intact is vital. Don’t forget to adapt, evolve and be open to changes, because everyone knows something of this nature is bound to occur again and again.
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