As Google drops authorship photos from search results last month, many speculations emerge if the decision aims to pave the way for Click-through rate (CTR) of paid search advertisements.
Google’s John Mueller explains in a statement, “We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices.”
“As a part of this, we’re simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count,” Mueller announces.
Changes after dropping author photos
Since June of 2011 when Google first announced support for Authorship markup, a number of businesses have joined the authorship bandwagon. They aim to increase unique visits with the new feature.
With Google’s recent announcement, they should, however, adjust their strategies in line with the following changes:
1. Authorship Rich Snippet
Google only displays authorship rich snippets in search results, except for a few exceptions in personalized search. They have also removed the “in xx Google+ circles” link, showing and leading to an author’s Google+ profile.
2. Utilizing Google+ profiles
When users clicked author bylines before, they landed on a Google search page content from the author. After the announcement, author bylines now link to Google+ profiles.
3. Correct Markup
To qualify for an authorship byline, businesses must have the correct markups.
Paving The way for CTR paid search ads?
In a recent report, Wordstream Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Larry Kim examined the CTR performance of a pilot search ad, before and after Google’s announcement. Findings suggest that CTR has significantly increased to 44.8% after dropping the author photos. Gathered data has produced 99% credibility because of the high-performing daily ad impressions of the particular keyword used—“negative keywords.”
Larry Kim says:
“We know that product listing ads draw attention and clicks because of the images, so it would stand to reason that the removal of author photos from organic search results would have the opposite effect. Many suspected that this was the case – now we know for sure.”
What This Means For You
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