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RIP Authorship for search results

Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by Diamond Damien, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Diamond Damien

    Diamond Damien Owner BlackHatWorld Staff Member Jr. VIP

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    The End of Authorship

    Three years of experimenting has finally brought authorship to this: a redundant waste of time.

    For many, the much-hyped benefits of authorship were chief among the reasons for joining Google+. For some, there weren?t any other reasons. Yet for all their promises of better ranking and higher clickthrough rates, the search engine giant has decided ?it isn?t as useful? as they?d hoped, and ?can even distract from those results?.

    What they don?t tell us is, what were they hoping for? How have they determined that it isn?t useful and what use are they judging it by? I?d like to think that a system such as this, especially one implemented by a search engine, wasn?t in place solely to increase CTR. Surely, the ability to find articles by authors they trust and enjoy reading is helpful to users, and the writers themselves.

    And who exactly are these people that are being distracted by an image and a bit of extra information? What kind of person allows their search to be derailed by an author name? Apparently, they?re the common denominator. As a result, authorship is being retired, and content writers are being banished back to anonymity.

    A Failed Experiment?

    Google has admitted a number of failings along the way and other users have been keen to point out any they missed. Below are a number of good excuses for the termination of this initiative.


    • Limited adoption - The initiative was severely hampered by the necessity to use Google+, a platform not quickly taken to in itself.
    • Poor execution - Google may have phrased this a little differently, but ultimately authorship was hard to understand and difficult to implement. Of those who did attempt the markup, a large percentage made mistakes.
    • Lack of information - Google, as is often the case, did little to promote authorship, relying instead on organic dissemination which is uneven at best. Webmasters were slow to learn of it and users were unaware of the reasons behind the changes they were seeing.
    • Minimal effect on click-through - Having the only result with a picture may well have made your site look more trustworthy, but in areas where authorship really took off (such as Law and Real Estate) a results page full of unfamiliar faces isn?t going to make a difference.
    • Mobile Search - The rise in use of mobile searches may also have attributed, with less space to spare on-screen for profile pics and circle numbers.
    • Fake profiles - The decision to force Youtube subscribers to be on Google+ has resulted in numerous fake or unmaintained profiles that make the whole system look less trustworthy.

    Wasted Potential

    Nevertheless, despite all its flaws, some had looked to authorship to be the new metric in Google?s ranking algorithm. While, unnatural links have been used to falsely infer authority, this system had the potential to be a much more accurate indicator of trustworthy content.

    Instead, it has become a waste of time for anyone working within that field of optimisation. We?re seeing lots of reports of especially irritated people who have been implementing authorship markup for their clients, or people who have struggled with the process and now they have nothing.

    The good news is that the markup won?t negatively affect your rankings if you decide to keep it. There also haven?t been any changes to publisher markup? yet. However, some users are worried that this means duplicate content is a problem again, and others feel that Google+ as a whole no longer holds value to SEO at all. In fact, some have voice the opinion that it was all primarily a scheme to get people involved with the platform.

    It doesn?t help when John Mueller casually states, ?On a personal note, it's been fun and interesting travelling the road of authorship with all of you? as if we?ve all been on a leisurely trip through the countryside and we?ve all had a good time. Some of us haven?t. Some of us put a lot of work into something that turned out to be futile. https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JohnMueller/posts/HZf3KDP1Dm8

    For some webmasters, continuing to use authorship may be helpful for users, but it won?t boost rankings on Google search pages. Many users will be quitting Google+ altogether, understandably feeling manipulated.

    Will you be ditching Google+?

    Of course, any experienced SEOs should have learned long ago that you cannot rely on Google. The search engine makes changes based on what will make their results most relevant to their users, not what makes webmasters the most money.

    It?s not even as if we didn?t see it coming. The decline of authorship was slow and obvious. The loss of the picture was a dark omen, as was the constant reshuffling of the rich snippet - whether it showed circle number or comments or ?view more by this author?. Authorship never quite ran smooth.

    The lesson to be learned here is that relying too heavily on Google guidelines isn?t always the best route to Google dominance. The best way to boost your rankings is to have quality content, quality products or services and to have a varied marketing strategy that doesn?t hinge upon Google. Read more about these around BHW. http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/

    Needless to say, Google has to be considered, but it is easy to forget that search engines rely on our content. The website should come first, and that should dictate what factors engines consider in their algorithms to provide relevant results. It shouldn?t be the other way around.

    What?s Next?

    It has to be expected that something will replace authorship. Certainly something needs to be added to Google+ before it becomes Google-, as critics question its relevance without this system.

    Do we go back to Agent Ranking? Will a similar but far improved system fill the space? Or will there be an entirely new system to shake up the SEO world? One thing?s for certain: a lot of people will be spending a lot of time forgetting - and erasing - everything to do with Google+ from their online presence.

    So, are you happy to hear of authorship?s timely demise or are you mourning the loss of useful markup? Share your perspective in the comments below.
     
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  2. andyf91

    andyf91 Senior Member

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    Authorship was great , sucks they completely got rid of it :(
     
  3. Vekkata

    Vekkata Regular Member

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    Ehm... of course. This is the main purpose of the search engines.
     
  4. Crewchief007

    Crewchief007 Power Member

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    andyf91, you stated...

    Was this sarcasm at its best?

    The next g00gle graveyard tool shall be g00gle pus and with good ridden.

    Maybe the Matte Cutes went on a sabbatical is that he saw some of his implementations coming to an end?
     
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  5. himanuzo

    himanuzo Supreme Member

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    I don't see the authorship power for boosting any rankings on Google...
     
  6. antichrist

    antichrist Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I am going to have to call bullshit. I 100% saw an increase in clicks from author images in the serps.
     
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  7. Aty

    Aty Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  8. Pabloelbest

    Pabloelbest Regular Member

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    I liked it, made my result different from competitors.
     
  9. lord1027

    lord1027 Elite Member

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    They removed the images long ago.

    I'm glad I never used autorship :)
     
  10. JoeMongan

    JoeMongan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  11. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    What gets my goat is that Google claiming a new ranking metric that webmasters cannot ignore, creates a colossal waste of time for three years, then says, "Nevermind".

    I swear SEO is getting to be 50% building and 50% dismantling.
     
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  12. IceHD

    IceHD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Planned on using Author Rank for a few personas good thing I haven't started yet.
     
  13. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    It did increase clicks but the only people using it were people trying to sell something or get their ads seen.
    Apart from SEO,IM and TECH no other writers/authors/experts were interested in it.
    It was another case of Goggle "thinking" they knew what people wanted and forcing a system on them that nobody wanted (G+)
     
  14. antichrist

    antichrist Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Exactly, but the link to john mueler, or however you spell his name said there was no increase seen. What a damn liar.
     
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  15. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Yeah, just bullshitting to cover his arse lol
     
  16. Rua999

    Rua999 Power Member

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    I think they mean "can even distract from those ads"
     
  17. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Google decides what 88% of searchers see on the WWW. If that doesn't cause alarm, I don't think anything else will. At this point they can do whatever they want and webmasters are unable to react.

    I never thought Authorship was that great of an idea anyway, I'm just sorry to have wasted time complying.
     
  18. keywordspot

    keywordspot Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  19. Gambling Attack

    Gambling Attack Junior Member

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    Thank you for informative and structured post.
    RIP Authorship
     
  20. reihaan

    reihaan Newbie

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    I think there was intention to bring the marketers towards google + and increase the number of users in google+ , as the number of people started increasing things were getting changed, the more the followers we have the better the page rank. So it was to get rank then making use of other hard work.... So finally the authorship is gone now!