By now you’ve certainly noticed that Google authorship photos are long gone from the SERPs. While your first inclination may be to focus less on your authorship efforts and more on other marketing endeavors, don’t give up on authorship just yet. As we’ve seen in the past, just because a Google product gets put on the back burner for a bit doesn’t mean that its value is completely gone.
One of the most common theories behind why Google has done away with authorship photos has to do with its advertising program. Specifically, many marketers speculate that authorship photos were taking attention away from paid ads in the SERPs. Less attention on ads means fewer clicks, which translates to less revenue coming into Google via AdWords. This theory makes complete sense, and hasn’t really been refuted by most internet marketing professionals.
Additionally, there may be another theory coming into play here. Authorship, like all other Google products before it, was susceptible to black (and grey) hat tactics. Consequently, some of the authorship photos that were showing up in the SERPs were painting an inaccurate picture of authors who were supposed to have been providing “quality” content. Specifically, through black hat marketers creating multiple, interconnected profiles, by unscrupulous “marketing” agencies offering circles for cash, and +1s not always being as genuine as they should have been, it’s no wonder that Google has taken a step back and removed authorship from the search equation. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that authorship is dead. In fact, it’s probably a better indicator that Google is priming to clean up the authorship program so that it’s more in-line with the quality content vision that’s been mapped out in its new E-A-T quality guidelines.
So, what’s a brand to do when it comes to focusing efforts on authorship? Well, the answer is simple: At the heart of authorship is quality content. That’s what it’s always been about and that’s what Google will continue to emphasize in today’s Internet. As long as marketing efforts are being focused on creating great content, there is absolutely zero possibility that any sort of Google penalty can be enforced. Eventually, websites that feature well-written, shareable content will be rewarded with not only higher rankings in the SERPs, but also may see some authorship benefits return to search results. While it’s pure speculation on our part that this will happen one day, it’s safe to assume that it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility, especially given how indecisive Google has been in the past about entirely abandoning its products.
Great content is what Google had hoped for when it introduced authorship, it’s what Google is still looking for, and it’s what you NEED to focus your efforts on if you want to convert visitors to your site. If you’re told otherwise by any other marketing companies out there, they’re probably up to no-good, and may even employ some of the more questionable marketing practices Google advises against (beware of black hat!). Remember, if their tactics seem questionable to you, chances are good that Google is going to consider them questionable too.
To ensure that your marketing strategy never works against you, the SEO professionals at SLS Consulting only recommend “white hat” techniques. By sticking to the guidelines and refusing to break the rules for a quick ranking boost, we build a strong foundation that’s as penalty proof as possible. For more information about how we can help your SEO and content marketing efforts, call (323) 254-1510 today.