Not every bandwagon trend pays off. Over the past few years, we’ve seen white papers and listened to podcasts advising thought leaders to set up their Google Authorship profile and start linking their content in order to drive up SEO, credibility, and clickability. But it just didn’t pan out. In late August of 2014, news came that Google will no longer show authorship results in Google Search or track data from content using rel=author markup. Why?
Google is renowned for testing. Every innovation or product is subjected to rigorous testing and reconsideration. If it doesn’t add real value to the user or doesn’t garner enough adoption, it is either thrown out or overhauled. And that’s what happened with Google Authorship. It’s that simple.
While the idea seemed like the next big thing, and many content creators and marketers were excited about getting author headshots and snippets added to search results, the fact is, nothing much happened. Click rates didn’t significantly increase, and very few people actually used the service. Studies have shown that approximately 70% of authors simply did not connect their published content to a Google Authorship profile, and searchers just never got the memo that they were supposed to place a higher value on search results featuring an author snippet.
The concept might have been valid. After all, we recognize that some people are more qualified to write on some subjects than are others. But maybe there is a better way to translate this to the virtual world. In fact, many marketers are now turning to Google’s Author Rank, which continues to be a factor for SEO and might provide a more stable answer to the problem.
What do you think? Are you worried about the loss of Google Authorship, or is it good riddance? Tell me in the comments below how this will affect your website’s traffic.
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