Google gave, Google took: the authors' photos disappeared from the results of search results. Does this mean that attribution of authorship no longer makes sense? Is it true that Google refuses to consider Author Rank when ranking materials? Read below.
At the end of June, Google spokesman John Muller announced that the photos of the authors will no longer appear on the issue page. Also, Google will stop showing the number of users in author’s circles. Muller explained this by the desire of the search engine to improve the experience of mobile users, as well as to unify the appearance of the SERP for users of different devices. He stated that during testing of new and old snippets Google has not recorded CTR changes..
This is not consistent with the results of numerous independent studies. For example, experts from the Marketing Tech Blog found that the snippet clickability with photo authors is almost 5 times (!) exceeded the CTR snippets without photos.
The reaction of marketers to search engine innovation almost coincided with the description of the stages of grief according to Elizabeth Kübler-Ross:
- Anger: Google, how could you do that? Matt Cutts, why do you hate us?
- Confusion: What to do now? Perhaps the innovation concerns not all authors?
- Depression: no, no, my beautiful photo, how can I live if you are not displayed in the snippet?
- Aggression: Google represents the universal evil. It merges all data to special services and advertisers. I will delete the account and will use only "Yandex".
- Apocalypse predictions: understandably they are closing Google+! This social network has not become popular.
However, marketers should control their emotions and rationally analyze any innovations. For this you need to answer a few questions.
Why did Google remove the authors' photos from the snippet in reality?
It is believed that Google removed the authors' photos from the issuing page, as they too increased the clickability of the links. The law of conservation of energy also acts in search marketing: if the CTR of one SERP element increases, then the clickthrough rate of other elements drops. What kind? For example, contextual advertising blocks ...
Yeah, you say, Google not only represents a universal evil, but also tries to rob site owners by promoting paid search. Do not rush to draw such conclusions. According to research conducted by Google itself in 2011 and 13, extended snippets do not affect the CTR of contextual ads. You can read about it here.
As stated above, Google expert John Muller claims that snippets with the photo of the author and without the photo of the author provide the same CTR. This statement does not coincide with the results of numerous independent studies. How to explain this discrepancy?
On this account there are several assumptions:
- Google uses a summary of all sites attributed to authorship to evaluate CTR. The largest search engine in the world has access to comprehensive statistics, which marketers are deprived of.
- John Muller is not talking about the clickability of the snippets from the authors' photos, but about the CTR of all the results of the issue.
- Marketers set a higher CTR of all extended snippets, and not just snippets from the authors' photos. Therefore, it is not exactly known whether the higher clickability is really provided by Google Authorship.
- Google has taken another step within the mobile search dominance strategy. The search engine really seeks to improve the experience of mobile users and to unify the results of the issuance, as John Muller said bluntly.
Is it true that Google buries authorship and even Google+ social network?
Not. You do not throw out an expensive smartphone, if you scratched the back cover. Google+ features are not limited to authorship. Google does not see this platform as a regular social network.
The world's largest search engine uses Google+ as a network identity integrator. The search engine collects all the available information about the user when he watches a video on YouTube, sends emails to Gmail, puts "+1" favorite materials on third-party sites, etc.
Should I indicate authorship after removing the photo from the page of issue?
Photo extradition is not the main benefit of attribution. Check out the following words from Google honorary engineer Matt Cutts:
We are looking for reputable authors in a particular niche, for example, in medicine or the tourism industry. We try to have their publications ranked slightly higher than anonymous content. This helps Google users find better content.
Yes, Google Authorship works even after removing a photo from the issue results. Authorship links publications on the site with the accounts of reputable authors. It gives you an extended snippet, even if it does not include a visually attractive photo.
Many experts believe that Google will sooner or later increase the role of Author Rank when ranking sites in the issue. In this case, the resources that work with reputable authors will benefit. Perhaps the search engine once learns to identify authorship without additional markup. In this case, the question of using Authorship will be removed.
Removing photo authors from the results of the issue makes links to your site less attractive. Probably, the snippet clickability without a photo drops. However, the main benefits of Google Authorship remain. Use this tool, it works.