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Google reduces the impact of Authorship search results

By Gareth Lockton

Google have confirmed – as we were told by Matt Cutts recently – that the amount of authorship rich snippets being displayed in search results would be reduced by roughly 15%. Now it seems that the changes have gone live, and low quality websites or content now no longer displaying the snippets.

SERP Feature History

Cyrus Shepard even displayed some search results on his website showing an even greater reduction on authorship search results:

Authorship Comparison

It was back in mid-2011 when Google announced it was beginning to roll out authorship markup which, in their own words, is…

a way to connect authors with their content on the web. We’re experimenting with using this data to help people find content from great authors in our search results.

…Put simply, by creating your Google+ profile and listing the sites where your content appears, you are giving Google a pretty good idea of what content is yours. This then allows your profile to be listed alongside your content in search results, so long as the article also lists you as the author. The move has been well received all round and will hopefully prevent, or at least reduce, the ability of less honest blogs to output content simply by scraping data from other websites.

Improving the quality of search results and the quality of content by clearly organising which content belongs to which author is definitely a step in the right direction. But it became too big a step in some search results as verified authors were given too much prominence on search results. Even if the content was poor or the website was of low quality the articles were still being displayed. This latest change to authorship results will hopefully lead to a more balanced approach.

Are you interested in getting verified for Google Authorship and would like some help with your website Search Engine Optimisation, please call 01457 854 418 or complete an enquiry form and we will call you back!