If you haven’t set up your Google authorship account, there is no reason to hurry. Google is going to be eliminating the photos and Google circles account in order to provide a “better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices”, according to Google’s John Mueller. Mueller goes on to state that the experiments done by Google with this new design show a similar click through rate compared to the old search results with images. REALLY?
How many experiments did Google do?
Did they bring all of the propeller heads in one room with Matt Cutts and conduct the experiments? There is no chance this is the case. The authorship photos have consistently shown about a 25% increase in click-through-rates. This means that when people go to the search results and see the listings with a photo, they are more inclined to click on the photos 1 out of 4 times. You be the judge. Which listing would you be more inclined to click?
Even though the Google authorship doesn’t show until the 2nd and 3rd listings, below the three Pay-Per-Click ads, your eye is immediately drawn to the images on the page. Google claims that they are looking to reduce the clutter on the page, but what they are not saying is….The photos distract too many searchers, and not enough people are clicking on the Pay-Per-Click advertisements on the top and the side of the page. I don’t have a problem with Google stating they are removing the photos, just don’t try and feed the public some BS about the click-through rates being the same. It simply is not the case. We have seen significant increases in traffic for all of our clients when we have added the Google Authorship photo for their online marketing campaigns.
Mobile Surpasses Desktop Search
A few months ago, a major milestone was reached online. According to CNN, there were more mobile devices searching the web compared to desktop searches. These mobile devices include I phones, Droids, Ipad’s, and other tablets. This will only continue to increase as more people continue to use their mobile phones and the devices become more sophisticated. I understand why Google would like to do it, but there is no reason they could not have omitted the Google Authorship photos from desktop devices only. That would be the reasonable solution, but instead, it is being done across the board and it will just so happen to increase the click through’s for Google’s PPC ads. Google authorship was designed to add credibility to the information we were reading online. It would require a few extra steps on the part of the author, but in the end, Google could tie together the content that was written on a page with an individual. It was a way to validate the information, and provide more credible results to the searchers. Now, with this feature removed, the internet will revert back to additional spam sites showing up on the front pages of the search results. It will only be a matter of time before this is exploited for profit and we start to see less and less credible results. Enjoy your images while you can, it sounds like all of them are going to be removed slowly over the next few weeks.
See my picture below this with my authorship info? You won’t for long?