authorship

Google drops authorship markup from search results: reaction

Having removed author photos from the SERPs in June, Google has now gone the whole hog and removed authorship altogether.

Under the authorship scheme, writers could add the rel=author markup to their bylines, linking them to Google+ pages.

Indeed, this is probably the only reason why some people joined Google+, as the carrot of improved CTR and perhaps rankings was dangled in front of them. 

Google’s John Mueller gives the reason that this author information wasn’t so useful for users, and even distracted from those results. 

So, what do SEOs think about this decision? Read on to find out… 

Does PPC have any effect on SEO? The expert view

I’ve recently been making a point of plunging myself deeper and deeper into the murky depths of SEO. 

It’s a fascinating place that can be filled with deeply satisfying victories, bafflingly contradictory advice, black and white hat gunslingers and requires dogged determination, nerves of steel and a strong sense of routine discipline.

While writing various beginner’s guides to SEO and paid search over the last year, I realised that I still had many more questions to ask, in particular how these two disciplines relate to each other.

And what’s the best way to seek enlightenment? Ask a bunch of experts that know way more than you, and pass off their advice as your own!

How can marketers increase CTR from organic search?

With a playing field increasingly dominated with paid search advertising and local SEO boosted listings, the search engine results pages (SERPS) are becoming a meaner territory for more traditional organic links.

Of course one of the key ways to increase your chances of ranking above the competition is through a comprehensive SEO strategy.

However, just because your webpage has clawed its way closer to the all important first SERP, through a focused and technically proficient adhering to good SEO standards, it doesn’t necessarily mean that searchers are going to click on your link in mighty droves.

Thankfully there are ways and means of making your result stand out from the rest. All it takes is the smallest of visual discrepancies to catch the browsing eye and hopefully increase the click-through-rate (CTR) of your listing.

Seven useful Google tips for bloggers & publishers

Blogging ain’t easy, especially when you’re starting from scratch, but there are many tools available that can make your life easier and potentially help drive more traffic to your site than you expected.

First I’ll make one thing abundantly clear, and this is a caveat you’ll read on any respectable website regarding SEO, if there’s one overarching factor that you should always consider when producing content, it’s quality. 

Always ask yourself “is the content I’m uploading to the web useful, entertaining, informative, engaging or innovative?” If it isn’t at least one of those things then you’re never going to achieve any gains in traffic, audience growth or authority.

There are of course exceptions to the rule and it’s difficult sometimes to remain objective when it comes to certain seemingly low-quality websites. But then if these websites are successful, they’re obviously catering for a certain demand.

Of course if you’re also someone who spends all day creating animated unicorn GIFs then I take my hat off to you. As I said, there are always exceptions to the rule and objectivity is hard.

Anyway, no matter what you’re publishing there are some brilliant and relatively simple ways that Google can help your content be seen, be indexed quickly and keep you out of trouble.

How social signals influence SEO: five things you need to know

2012 has been a time of great transition in SEO. With Google’s Penguin update in May, we saw a concerted move away from it being duped by black hat techniques, and a move towards beginning to incorporate social signals into its algorithm.

The water’s still a bit murky when it comes to how important social signals are and will be in the landscape of SEO, but here are a few FAQs that you’ll no doubt be very interested in hearing the answers to…

Are you prepared for Google’s AuthorRank?

Since Google introduced its authorship programme last year, there has been plenty of speculation on how it may affect search rankings in future, and the potential advantage it gives to verified authors. 

The most obvious immediate benefit is that the addition of an author image helps the result to stand out in the SERPs and should therefore lead to a higher click through rate.

In an excellent post on the SEOmoz blog last week, Mike Arneson states his belief that Google is about to implement AuthorRank. 

So, which signals will Google take into account for AuthorRank? 

Why you should be using rel=author

Google launched its authorship program last year, which allows authors to get more enhanced listings in the search results by using the rel=author markup. 

This is something we have done for many of the staff and guest writers on this blog, and it’s (generally) easy to set up. 

Here are five reasons why you should try this on your site… 

13% of Google UK searches now include author images

The use of the rel=author markup to create enhanced listings in Google’s SERPs is growing, with 13% of searches now showing author images in the top 100 results. 

These stats come from a Searchmetrics study, which looked at Google UK search results relating to 1m popular keywords.

The enhanced listings make search results more visible, and are likely to be used as in indicator of trust by Google in future. 

Ask the experts: How will rel=author affect SEO?

Google launched its authorship program last year and, using the “rel=author” markup, authors are given a more prominent listing in the SERPS. 

Implementing this is relatively easy to do (some useful instructions here) and it has the potential to improve CTR through enhanced search results. 

But how significant is this now, and how will Google use this in future? 

I asked several search experts for their views….