Update: On 29th of August 2014 Google officially removed authorship
Fortunately we can still use rich snippets data markup – more information at https://developers.google.com/structured-data/?rd=1
Google authorship will be a must for all website owners in 2014. Google are trying to revolve heavily around high-quality content, trust, and value. That’s why they announced the authorship. Every author must stand with his own name, profile picture and reputation behind his post. That will encourage authors to provide more quality content.
What is Google Authorship?
Google Authorship is when you connect your Google+ profile with the content you write. With authorship you claim that you are the original author of some article for example. Here is an example:
Authorship can lead to higher click through rate, higher visibility in the snippet, better recognition and many other SEM advantages. People remember faces easily than names, so they can remember the good author and always click on his/her result.
The advantages of Google authorship are so many that everybody wanted to connect his Google+ profile with the content he writes. For a short time period almost every search result was with an author picture.
The idea of authorship was to emphasize the qualitative search results from trusted authors. In the middle of December 2013 Google confirmed that they’re beginning to limit the SERP results with author’s picture. My observations are that this process started months ago, by testing the new search results. In my opinion Google have a brand new algorithm that will mass limit the low quality search results with authors pictures.
Some people were in a slight panic. They were asking questions like “Why is my Google authorship picture not showing?”, “Google authorship picture disappeared”, “Is Google authorship going to disappear?”.
The answers are very simple. After entering the authorship, many people (and mostly SEO experts) instead of focusing on quality content, they’ve started to connect authorship with all that can be called post, aiming to manipulate the SERP.
Why is Google Author Picture Not Showing Up
Google announced that they will try to show only the pictures of the most quality authors. They aim to make the results with authors picture more trusted and in that way to show users on which result is worth clicking. That’s why the authorship in Google will become more difficult to achieve and at the same time – more important.
Of course, there is also another option to not have your profile picture in the search results. If your google+ profile is marked as hidden in the settings or if your face cannot be clearly seen on the picture.
3 levels of author’s authority
Google introduces three levels authority. The top authors will have a normal result with profile picture in the snippet.
Less authority authors will have the results without a picture, but they will have a line with the name of the author and the number of people that follow him/her in Google+. Or it might show as a text like “More from Author name” at the bottom of the snippet.
The weakest authors will show without any sign of Google authorship. They will have to try harder in writing quality content and wait. If your search results are showing that way, don’t forget to check your authorship with the Structured data testing tool, to make sure that your authorship is connected properly.
Google+ authorship is becoming more and more important, but it’s getting harder to achieve. The authors authority is formed by a few factors like:
- Quality of your content
- The interest that it caused in readers
- The websites in which it is published
- People that follow the author
So try to write quality content and Google will appreciate it.