Google Authorship Image Not Showing? Here's What to Do Next.
Are your Google Authorship images not showing in search results? Are you seeing a drop in site visitor traffic or leads? Google recently pulled the plug. The results are in: Lower traffic for some social sellers, while others aren't much affected. So what should you do?
Why Your Google Authorship Images Are Not Showing
Well, because Google says so. It decided not to anymore! It was just an experiment.
"In the early days of Google Authorship, almost anyone could get the coveted face photo in search by correctly setting up Authorship markup on their content and linking to that content from their Google+ profile," says Google+ expert, Mark Traphagen in a recent SEOmoz blog.
"As time went on, Google became pickier about showing the rich snippet, and some sort of quality criteria seemed to come into play."
In October 2013, Google announced a reduction in the number of photo images it displayed. In late June 2014 it pulled the plug completely on photo images in search results. Poof!
Says Traphagen, "It appears that the net result is no overall change in the amount of Authorship (appearing) in search, just an elimination of a 'first class' status for some authors."
Author Images Actually Did Not Drive More Traffic
Everyone knows Authorship links with photos drove more traffic and leads to Web pages of authors, right? Eh, maybe.
"We never really knew for sure, and we never knew how much. Most importantly, there was never any proof that any CTR boost was universal," says Traphagen, who's done the research.
Many "studies" were conducted supporting the theory of Authorship links grabbing more eyes—and holding more perceived authority—than a "text only" link. But none of them hold much water.
Myself, I am running a handful of blogs for lead generation. After my author images were removed, I am apparently experiencing a drop in traffic and leads. But it's not huge by any means. Why?
I've copywritten my Web page titles, blog post headlines, lead sentences and posts.
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.