If you don’t regularly follow all the SEO blogs and news, you may not have heard that Google Authorship is now ending. This “experiment” by Google is just another example of how the world of Search Engine Marketing keeps changing.
With Google Authorship, all of us in SEO were very guilty of chasing the “new shiny thing” – but I personally feel like we were mislead a little (or a LOT) by Google’s emphasis on this influencing factor for search ranking.
Authorship was first started by Google in June 2011, followed closely by the start of Google+. It made it super easy for web publishers to make sure it was known they they were the original publishers and owners of web content. Google rewarded us with our photos attributed to the content.
In our SEO Training Classes, we happily taught our students the steps to getting verified for authorship. And it looked like a technique that Google was going to hold onto for the long term.
Enter the announcement on August 28th by John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools.
But I believe there is more to the story – many SEO experts (including myself) believe that Google Authorship was halted because too much attention was being drawn to organic listings (and not enough to ads). We’ll save that discussion for a later blog post, but just suffice it to say that there was research (by Google) to the contrary.
As a business owner, I recommend putting your efforts into making sure you are publishing original content and it doesn’t look like duplicate. Although it’s OK to curate content.
Google talks like Authorship was an experiment – but they used it for a long time – over 3 years. That’s practically forever in the SEO world. It does go to show that you can’t count on anything staying the same in search engine marketing.
Here’s the bottom line – Google Authorship was a cool feature, I’m sorry to see it go. But Google is still looking for original content on your site and looking duplicate content (intentionally or unintentionally). Do more of the first, and avoid the second to find that “low hanging fruit” for your SEO projects.