Marketing Tips Blog

What's Google Up to Now: Authorship Photos Getting Cleaned Up

Mark Anderson - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Google’s John Mueller has announced that Google is making a major change in the search results around authorship. Specifically, Google is dropping the profile photo and circle count from the search listings where authorship is assigned to a web page. [Source: Search Engine Land]

What Google Said. Let’s start with the only official word we have on this so far, the Google+ post from John Mueller announcing this change. In it Mueller said:

We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices. As a part of this, we’re simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count. (Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.)

Mueller said that the “click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.” For some reason, I highly doubt that, but webmasters can be the judge of that as this gets rolled out.

Here is the new design for authorship. Notice that all you see is a clickable author name:

google-authorship-without-image

Here is the old format, where normally having an image next to a search result would lead to more visibility and click-throughs:

google-authorship-image

Note that authorship has also been updated in the Google News results. They contain a smaller profile image, but the Google+ circle count has been dropped from there as well.

google-news-authorship

This new design for authorship in the search results is rolling out to both desktop and mobile results.

For more on how to implement authorship, see this help document and for more stories on Google Authorship click here.
 

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