Last month, Google declared that it is doing away with Google Authorship,
photos and all. According to Google Webmaster Tools’ John Mueller, Google searches will no longer be tracking the rel=author tag data anymore, instead the tag will be treated like any other markup on your website and is postulated to not cause in any problems in SEO results. The change, which was implemented immediately after its announcement, did not seem to affect Google+ posts. When searching for Google+ posts in the main results and in the sidebar from their connections, they still seem to get both authorship and author photos.
Why is Authorship going away?
In his post, Mueller says that three years of test data has proved that Google Authorship was not adding anything to its users’ experience. Not only did it not help them, it ended up being a distraction instead. According to their tests, ‘removing Authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads.’
The primarily problem seems to be that a lot of people were not optimizing the use of Authorship. Many people had still not used it, or if they were using it, it wasn’t set up properly. This might also be because setting up Authorship required some easy to use tools to help the process, but if you did not have those tools, it could be a hassle. This could be one reason why a lot of people were deterred from using Authorship or never ended up using it properly.
Besides being hard to set up without the right tools, users apparently did not find any value in using Google Authorship. The results were not what Google had hoped for. When they announced the removal of Authorship photos, it did not have any significant effect on the click-through rates. The combination of low adoption by users and low impact on search made it clear that Authorship had to be given the pink slip.
How does Google+ Authorship help your SEO?
Removing Google Authorship from website searches, but retaining those of Google+ is a clever and aggressive ploy to attract more people to Google+. Google has always SEO to bring more prominence to Google+ and this another similar move.
In an attempt to get any edge over their competitors with regards to SEO rankings, businesses may focus more on ramping up their Google+ presence in the absence of Authorship.
So what does this mean for you and your SEO attempts?
Essentially, this does not affect your core SEO marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy should focus on creating relevant and good content depending on what your audience demands. Although, you will have to tweak some aspects of your marketing platforms by making small changes to the social networks and search engines.
– Create a Google+ and Google+ Local profile, if you haven’t already, and increase your presence and promotional posts on them. Do not let the loss of a good head start deter you from getting a competitive edge over others.
– Your content needs to be effectively promoted to Google+ so that the search engine can take notice of it and index it. Content includes your blog posts, website article and any pictures you want to share.
Google+ should no more be a social profile that you can ignore and put on the sideline. Just like you give Facebook and Twitter attention, Google+ deserves the same.