What is Google authorship??
While searching on web it is often seen that along with links some people’s pictures are appearing along with the search results on Google. It is done by linking your Google Plus Profile with your website and after that adding Google Authorship markup to the links. This practice is known as Rich Snippet.
Google Authorship provided the facility to link your content with a Google+ profile. It provides more certain authentication of the author. The value of rich snippet is evident from a study that proved that click rates to the links having rich snippet increased up to 150% than the one that were without them.
Google Authorship initiated with Othar Hansson’s official blog post in June 2011. He announced that Google is going to facilitate users with rel=author tag. However, there were no details about how it will work or what will be process of achieving it?
By October 2013 when Matt Cutts revealed that Google might stop providing authorship and probably will decrease it by 15%. He related this decrease will be related to perk up the quality of search.
At the same time, Google started giving Two-class authorship. It divided the authors into two groups. The first group continued with Google authorship and the second had no author photo displayed. Finally on August 2014, it was announced that Google has completely removed authorship functionality from the search results and other related tools.
The reason that was given at that time by John Mueller was that Google authorship does not prove to be as useful to the users as it was thought that it would be and also it can even lead to the distraction from main search results.
Can we expect that Google will bring back Authorship?
From August 2014, when Google Authorship stopped completely there was no more talks in the town about authorship. With the Gary lllyes’s (Google’s spoke person) remarks in SMX East it is now assumed that Google Authorship is going to make a comeback. In reality is probably not going to happen. Some of the reasons for this matter are given below.
Illyes has made no promises that it will be back. Most of the people misinterpret Google’s spoke persons like Gary Illyes, Matt Cutts, and John Mueller statement of “might or could” into “will”. If something is said to be as possibility it should not be converted into certainty. Certainty can be given to a statement when proper promises are made.
- Not in plan
If authorship comeback is not the part of Google’s plan then how it is possible that Mr. Gary will make it’s come back statements?
- Why authorship went out of the box?
Among the other reasons that were stated by Mr. Mueller was one that is “mobile first”. A massive number of users have shifted to mobile phones because of the advancement of smart phones. And in order to be successful with smart phones a clean and simple environment has to be provided.
This trend is increasing day by day and there is no way that this trend is going to be upturned. Even Google separated different search engine for smartphones and even implemented a strict rule that websites must be responsive for smartphones if have huge number of visitors.
- Future of author’s identity in search
Author’s identity is of interest to Google, it’s just that it has not figured the right way for this purpose. So how they will implement things to achieve this concern?
The solution for this problem is: the Knowledge Graph, entity search, and machine learning.
- Knowledge graph
It is store house of what Google is actually learning.
- Machine learning
It is basically a search engine whose aim is to help Google do learning by knowledge graph at a scale. It can be said that machine learning is a set of algorithms, that by utilizing the feedback mechanisms learns things by itself.
It is expected that these things will be used by Google to identify the authors in near future along with their content. Matt Cutts also talked about Knowledge graph in June 2013 in a discussion about the future of authorship. He talked about eliminating Google’s reliance of search on keywords and introducing the ways that focus on devising “real world people” that are in actual present behind their contents. This will be beneficial as their relationship can be shown in the search which will in turn increase the authenticity.
We cannot expect that Google is going to make much higher use of rich snippet for author’s authentication. By rich snippet any of the authors in the world can get its data link to Google+ profile. However that Google might give more importance to the valuable authors in the world. It is the same as different brands have different ranks and different levels of identity same applies to the authors.
Written By: Sidra Aleem | Images Credit: searchengineland.com / kissmetrics.com