Google Authorship Ends
Every time Google starts something, it is hyped to the Nth degree. This is because Google tends to do things in very big ways.
However some things Google starts Google later ends. They decide the experiment failed for whatever reason.
This occurred recently with Google authorship.
After three years of hype as to how important it will be to your click through rate, it’s over. Google is removing all authorship data from the SERP rich snippet as well as removing all Google Authorship references from Google Webmasters Tools.
Like everyone else who was not directly involved in the decision (which is almost all of us) I can only speculate. However I put my money on people found ways to manipulate the system in ways Google felt was inappropriate.
How might this have been done? By hiring ghost writers. There is a reasonable limit at which one individual can write and publish posts. If Google discovered that some people were publishing at super human rates, it stands to follow some (or all) of those posts were written by someone other than the identified author.
Why Does This Matter?
When Google says they want to present the best search results for any given search query, I believe them. I believe them because Google’s core business is that of any other publisher. They gather an audience and sell advertising to people who want access to that audience.
When we use Google we like to think we are the consumers. We are not. We are the product. The consumers are the people who buy paid ads on Google.
Without a large audience of people who use Google for their searches, their business would suffer. They know that.
Fads and experiments come and go. The basics of being found (a critically important part of Inbound Marketing) has not changed significantly since Google first started to dominate the search engine market.
- Publishing a lot of relevant and interesting content.
- In reasonable small bite sized chunks.
- At frequent intervals.
- Over an extended period of time.
- That attract back links from others (this last one is the only aspect you do not directly control).
I guess the moral is (to borrow a popular Internet meme) Keep Calm and Keep Publishing.
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