In celebration of the 66th episode of our SEO Lunch series, the team at Slocum Themes decided it was time to make a blog post about the negative changes to Google Authorship, what to do to optimize your content creation in it’s wake, and simply what Google Authorship is!
What is Google Authorship?
It feels like Google used Authorship as a cheap way to get people on G+ and are now ripping away a primary benefit.
Clearly, people are annoyed with the recent changes Google has made to Authorship. To understand why the changes were made, we must first take a look at what Google Authorship is and what it does for content creators and businesses.
Google Authorship allows people to write blog posts and content for different websites and get credited as the author of those posts within Google. These pieces of content were managed by linking a Google+ profile to the various websites where you post. Much like looking for best-selling authors, people who wrote quality articles would have their name and image displayed next to their article on a Google search results page.
The author profile brought extra exposure to articles that Google found effective or well-written. Simultaneously, people who were creating the content got extra credit for their hard work.
So what happened to make all of these writers angry?
Where did my Google Authorship picture go?
Over the past month or so, Google has slowly and now officially removed pictures from Google Authorship, making it much more difficult to get exposure to an article.
If you don’t understand the impact that this has on getting your content noticed imagine a bookstore. In this bookstore, all cover art has been blanked out and every book is white with black text for the title of the book and name of the author.
Obviously, this will affect much of the impact that good, upstanding content producers had.
SEO Tips to Recover from the change
If you still want the primary benefits of Google Authorship, it is time to get friendly on Google+. From my research, I noticed that occasionally Google search results would display the image of an author like in the past, but ONLY if that author was a connection on Google+.
Beyond any real technical changes to be made, the emphasis should be even more weighed towards creating long-form, quality content on your site that is in-depth. Google has plenty of real estate for what they deem “in-depth” articles (articles that are long and well-written). Additionally, Google sure does have a lot of space devoted to ads and maps data, so make sure you are also looking into Adwords and also Google Places when you are creating a business website or optimizing said website.
What is next?
SEO is constantly changing, as evidenced by the changes to Google Authorship. One day, your article is the talk of the town and the next you have nowhere to stay. Make sure you are always staying up to date with changes to SEO.
In the meantime, check out our awesome free WordPress themes to make sure your website converts once people get there: