As we know very well here at EBS Marketing, Google are always changing and tweaking their products and services. Whether its slight algorithmic edits that no one will ever notice, the change of spacing in the company’s logo or even the introduction of a brand new service, Google have an immense amount of influence over us and our day to day online lives.
And who’s to stop them! Google holds an overwhelming stake of the search engine market share, and provides its services to millions of users worldwide, racking up approximately 11 billion Google searches per month. So as Google’s seemingly endless alterations continue, it would be wise to remember that whilst some changes may seem pointless or impractical, others may lead to the development of a better user experience.
But, in more recent news, it seems like the multi-billion dollar search company are taking a step backwards in their latest update, with the removal of some of their authorship features.
What Is Authorship?
Authorship, for those of you who don’t already know, is a feature within Google which enables writers and publishers to link their website or blog with their Google+ account. This verification between services could then enable the visualisation of the author within the Google search.
What did it used to look like?
So, originally, before the update, if you wrote a blog with authorship in place, and your article cropped up in the results, a photo (taken from your Google+) would be listed alongside the article. As well as a small headshot, your name, link to your Google+ profile and the number of circles you appear in also appeared in the search results.
Why was Authorship good?
Naturally, this personalisation brought about a vast increase is authorship users, particularly within the world of SEO and marketing. Although authorship did not directly affect search rankings, the introduction of the feature brought about optimised results for other Google+ users in author’s circles and advances in click-through rates.
What is Authorship now?
But now – as John Mueller recently stated – Google have started to move away from visual authorship results, favouring a stripped back, more consistent look. Having removed photos and listing the number of circles the user was in, now authorship on posts is as simple as a user’s name with an anchor link.
John Mueller’s statement from Google reads:
“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.)”
But with these new developments comes disappointment for many authorship users, who were seeing positivity from its old features. Yes, Google search results will be clearer and more succinct, and will decrease spammy users, but the personalisation and individuality added with the original Google authorship will be lost forever.
Let us know your thoughts on Google’s new update in the comments section below.
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