Google Plus is the second-largest social networking site in the world. Yes it’s even bigger than Twitter but it was a ghost town for the longest time after it launched.
From a business perspective, I had to create an account for the company I work for because if our customers are using it then, we need to be listening to those conversations. You know the drill. From a personal blogger perspective I was like ‘Gah! Not another social networking site’. What changed?
Despite Google integrating all its web services, i.e. YouTube, Analytics, Webmaster tools and the like, I still had zero interest in the social networking platform. Then I heard about Google Authorship and everything changed, as I’m sure it did for many bloggers.
What is Google Authorship?
In a bid to cut down on spam Google made it much easier for writers and bloggers to claim authorship of their content. Google Authorship is a way to link content you create with a Google+ profile, which provides benefits such as your face appearing next to your content in Google’s search results. For the search engine giant it gives some credibility to the content that appears in searches.
If bloggers didn’t want to bother with Google+ before, Authorship was the hook that reeled us all in.
Benefits of Google Authorship
As long as you have great content, having an image next to your search results helps you to stand out from the crowd. All the top blogs encouraged us to get our authorship on, listing lots of reasons why we should. Higher click through rates, visibility and page views are cited as some of the benefits.
Authorship image doesn’t appear in Google search
So now we are hooked on Authorship and the Google+ network has grown and benefited from our obsession with SEO, but did we read the small print? At first you may have noticed your mugshot showing up in search results but after a while nothing.
Your ranking hasn’t dropped off but your image no longer appears. When I noticed this, I thought something on my blog was broken so I used the Structured Data Testing Tool and everything was fine. I checked to make sure the latest update of Yoast SEO plugin hadn’t changed my setup and thus put me in violation of Google’s guidelines.
After searching around I soon learned that Google never promised me a rose garden: and I quote “Google will only show authorship in search results when we think it will be useful to the user.”
I’ve noticed that my image appears on my Google+ posts in search results but not my blog posts. I use Jetpack to auto post to Facebook, Twitter and Google+, could this be the Big Gs way of telling me I should start creating original content directly on G+?
I noticed a lot of people are writing original content directly on the social network but it’s all I can do to write for this blog. If the Big G continues to change the goal posts then, it’s something we bloggers may have to consider to drive traffic from our G+ profile page through to our blogs.
Have you set up Google Authorship on your blog? Have you noticed your picture being dropped from search results?