What is Author Rank and how does it differ from Google Authorship?
There has been a lot of talk about Google removing the Google Authorship images from search results. We at Webstix have closely monitored the changes and behavior of Google Authorship and Author Rank on search from the start. We have even shared how to get more traffic by setting up Authorship for your blog pages.
We now hear that after three years, Google has put an end to the great Google Authorship experiment. Google officially confirms that they are now bidding goodbye to Google Authorship. As a result, Google has dropped all authorship functionality from the search results and webmaster tools.
Here is an example of how Google Authorship looked:
In the above image, you can see how the website has both an image of the author plus a byline with the name. Google has dropped the image support in June 2014 and now the byline and everything else related to the program is gone. Here is how the website now looks in search results:
Why should Google end the Authorship program?
Google repeatedly demonstrated that nothing it creates necessarily lasts long or is sacred. We see that many Google products and services that were introduced were unmercilessly discontinued later.
We hear that every product they create is constantly tested and evaluated. Anything that does not meet Google’s goals or that does not provide significant user value will be discontinued later on.
What is Author Rank?
Author Rank is not actually a Google’s term. It is a term that the SEO community has assigned to the concept in general. It especially got renewed attention after Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, talked about ranking. He verified authors were showing up higher in search results.
Here is an article from SearchEngineLand that talks about the Author Rank in detail:
Will Author Rank continue to live?
What we question is that while Google Authorship is dead, how can Google keep using Author Rank in the limited form? Or does it mean that Author Rank is also dead?
Google told us that dropping Google Authorship should not have any impact on how the in-depth articles section works. Google also said that the dropping of Google Authorship will not impact its other efforts to explore how authors might get rewarded.
We need to wait to hear from Google regarding all this will work when they had said that it is ignoring authorship markup. One possible answer is that Google will have other ways to determine who it believes to be the author of a particular article or content.
What does the drop of Authorship mean for you?
It is actually too early to predict the outcomes of Google removing Authorship from search. We can look directly at our Google+ profile along with Google Authorship markup code which is now not going to show author images next to your articles in Google search results any more. However, we also cannot say how things will change in the future. If your site already has authorship markup, we advise you NOT TO REMOVE IT. Google may sometime come up with another good reason to include author markup code in your website.
We also recommend that you increase your Google+ participation. This is because your Google+ activity may still continue to appear on Google search results along with your author photo. We suggest creating original articles and posting it on Google+. By increasing your participation on Google+, you are increasing your own chances of appearing in the Google search results.
The point to all of this is that even though “Google Authorship” is dead, it still matters to Google who you are. We can say that this is true by looking at the increasing visibility for Google+ local businesses. This could have a much bigger impact on your visibility in the search engine than Authorship itself ever did.