How Helpful Were Google Authorship Photos?



google authorship photos

The news that Google plans to drop Authorship photos from the search results was unexpected, but probably not shocking to many SEOs. It will be done in an effort to provide a better mobile experience by decluttering the results, said Google’s John Mueller.

All speculation and mourning aside, we are curious how this affects Google users that have grown accustomed to Authorship photos and Circle information.

Our office is divided:

“The author influences my click a lot for work-related informational searches,” Reid Bandremer said. 

“If I’m being honest, no. I scan the title and description to see if the result matches my true intent then look at the author to make a click decision,” Sean McQuaide said. 
Do Authorship photos and information influence your behavior when searching on Google? Please complete the poll below to view the results.

[socialpoll id=”2208291″]

We avoided gossip in the post so please use the comments to let us know what you’re thinking about Google’s update.  

Andrew Garberson is the Director of the Digital Marketing Strategy department. He has led digital marketing efforts in a variety of settings, including agency, entrepreneurial and nonprofit environments, and has master's degrees in business administration and mass communications. An Iowan at heart and Pittsburgher in spirit, Andrew commutes on his 10-speed most days between March and December -- after all, he's only human.

  • Andrew Garberson

    Let me be the first on this thread to say I’m sad to see them go, if only because I like seeing Sayf Sharif’s Authorship photo in my results.

  • This is such a shame. I loved this as a writer myself since it made it super easy to highlight the quality content of people in my network. Oh well.

  • Andrew Garberson

    I think “Oh well” pretty much sums it up. Life goes on.

  • Alex

    Google have retired so many features in recent years, it is a shame they are retiring one that went to the heart of quality content and semantic SEO. Nonetheless, perhaps we may yet see them in non-mobile results? Maybe we can expect to see pic features in text Ads soon? (l suspect the true objective here).

    Bon voyage authorship pics, as you sail to the great Google burial ground in the sky. Say a big hello to Google Reader and Google Ad Planner for me. Tell them l miss them.

  • Andrew Garberson

    A perfect blend of speculation and mourning! I suspect you might be right about the ads, as we’ve already seen integration between G+ and AdWords.

  • My two cents:

    This wasn’t nearly as much about users preferences and was really about platform agnosticsm. The photos just didn’t look good on mobile and don’t integrate with cards easily.

    I think this was forsaken to provide a clean, uniform visual across all platforms. For what it’s worth.

    I still am not a fan of the change.

  • Mary Kay Lofurno

    While I certainly understand cleaning up the experience for mobile, why have they not ditched the knowledge graph stuff on the right hand side?

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