Recently Google has taken the decision to remove Google Authorship images from SERPs. This comes as quite a surprise to many and has become a large discussion on forums. I am now at a crossroads in deciding whether this was a positive move or not. Here are my thoughts, please add your own in the comments.
I am starting with the positive as many may only be focusing on the negative, so it is good to start with the opposing view.
- SERPs will now be more uniform, and therefore there is less chance of another result being favored over yours, simply because it looks different.
- In a world where beauty is such a vital part of our lives, this takes away the option to choose an article because the author is good looking.
- It is now much easier to set up Google Authorship simply with an email address and your Google+ profile.
- If you have more than one article appearing on a SERP, they will now all show Authorship, whereas with the images only one post per SERP would show the author details.
Most of the above responses for ‘positive’ can be looked at from the other side and turned negative, however there are additional points to consider.
- The new format does still include the author’s name, but it is much less noticeable and, for an author in a number of circles (that were previously showing), this could negatively affect their CTR.
- As a user, it will be more difficult to choose which result to click, as there is a lack of variety and no hint towards a site’s authority, which was previously displayed by the number of circles an author was in. Additionally, the old authorship results varied according to a site’s authority and the author’s authority by showing either just a name, google+ circles or an image.
Any change that is made in the SERP will affect the click through rate, but overall, we have no control over the decisions that Google make, but hopefully it will be for the best in the long run. Authorship is still a great way to get your content noticed and to get more people attracted to it, so don’t simply ignore this tool because of this change.
What do you think?