Here’s an update that may affect your SEO campaigns: Matt Cutts has confirmed that Google has begun authorship reduction on their search results. According to Cutts, 15% of authorship rich snippets are no longer being displayed in their search results.

You can clearly see the decline in results displaying authorship in MozCast. Set the filter of the Features graph to just authorship and you’ll see this:

MozCast graph showing the decline in authorship display on the SERPs

MozCast graph showing the decline in authorship display on the SERPs

Low-Quality Sites to Lose Authorship

This change isn’t an unexpected one, as Cutts already talked about Google making this move at Pubcon earlier this year. According to Cutts, tightening of authorship may yield better search results for users. The reported 15% reduction in authorship rich snippets on the SERPs was the same target number Cutts mentioned at Pubcon.

Low-quality sites that offer rehashed, poorly written and out of context content will be the hardest hit by this change. Losing their authorship is just the beginning – according to Cutts, Google will also be taking away the ability to use other rich snippets if they see a website as low quality.

Maintaining Your Authorship

Establishing and maintaining your status as a trusted content publisher and information resource is important in ensuring the continued availability of authorship and other rich snippets for your use. Having a carefully planned content marketing strategy is a great start. Expanding your network of online influencers in your target industries is another way of maintaining your status as a trusted information source.

Because we anticipate Google’s algorithm updates, we’re glad to let our partners know that we’ve maintained a strong content-centric SEO strategy for your campaigns. Check out our packages to view the full inclusions or talk to your account manager today to review your content marketing plan.

We’d be glad to help you establish your clients’ brands online in order to maintain their authorship. Sign up now and become our partner to get your own account manager and gain access to our full suite of solutions.

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Clayton Wood

Clayton is the Marketing Director of and managing partner of numerous successful online brands offering white label SEO and other online marketing services.