This past week has been a pretty major step back in the layout of SERPs in my opinion, after Google rolled out the removal of author images for all listings after the announcement by John Mueller earlier in June. Now something that I advise all blog/website owners to do is setup Authorship on their blog in order to give them more chance of having thir profile image displayed beside any articles they write. Authorship images that are optimised and well presented have been shown to increase organic click throughs to a website and to anyone looking to dominate the rankings any competitive advantage is worth implementing.
image of Barry Schwartz from http://www.seroundtable.com/google-authorship-update-16697.html
According to the same statement released by John, the removal of these images have been tested and according to their studies “click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.”
Design aside, given that google have come out and stated that authorship plays no role in the ranking of a website, I began to think whether my advice of setting up authorship is really still worthwhile?
Google remove Authorship Images from SERPs
Now the reason I have repeated the post title here, is because there is one glaringly obvious word in there. Images.
Just because google have removed the images from SERPs doesn’t mean that Authorship is dead and shouldn’t still be implemented. When you conduct a search, you will still see authorship appearing in the results in the form of the author name and a link to your Google+ page, although it may not be as prominent as before. This is still an advantageous attribute to have in your listing. It gives the user a little more information than posts which do not have the authorship attribute setup.
Linking directly through to your Google+ profile, it also gives you a lot more chance to build your own network. Users are a lot more likely to find your profile and add you into their circles with a link in the search results, than they are without.
Authorship can also lead to something that is highly sought after, Authority.
Becoming a prominent name within your field is something that everyone should strive to achieve, as it will only help improve your business and in turn your profits. If people begin to notice your name appearing in results for queries related to your industry, you’ll stick in their head, asserting yourself as even more of an authority. If your content is well written and regularly produced of course.
The point I’m trying to make is that even though Google have decided to remove author images from search results, it isn’t the end for authorship and it shouldn’t be disregarded from your overall digital strategies.
Keep linking those google+ profiles folks, you’ll thank me for it later.
About Bob Gentle
I'm the MD at NEC. I work with clients on strategy and digital marketing and lead research and development in this quickly evolving area.