Google Authorship No Longer Includes Profile Photo

Google has made some significant changes to its authorship tag. Google authorship links content with a content creator’s Google+ page. This is important to Google because it lends legitimacy to a piece of content. Google, however, has been making some changes to how search results treat authorship.

One of the most recognizable traits of the authorship tag was the author’s profile photo that would appear on the search results page along with the article. This image was a huge plus for getting the attention of searchers. Having a name and an image made a search result stand out and seem more legitimate. Google claims, however, that the removal of the image did not affect overall click-through rate in their experiments. Even without the image, Google still believes authorship will be important.

Google also maintains that their January update to authorship, which removed approximately 20-40% of low-quality authorship posts from SERPs, have only bumped up the high quality authorship posts. That means that you may want to include authorship tags when you are writing blog posts if you consider yourself an authority on a subject. Combined with social media shares, authoritative backlinks, and optimized content, authorship tags can even further boost the legitimacy of an author and content.

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