How Google Authorship without Photo and G+ Circle Count will affect your SEO and Content Marketing

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Yesterday evening June 25th 2014, John Muller of Google announced via his Google+ account that Google will be removing the author photo and Google+ circle count from the SERPs. The reasons given are: to visually clean up the search engine results pages (SERPs), provide a less cluttered experience to the reader and create a more consistent design across devices.



SERP with author picture and G+ circle count


SERP without author picture and G+ circle count

There is much debate right now between (SEO) experts about how this change will affect the adoption of authorship mark-up and the click through rate (CTR) on the SERPs.


What can we expect will change (or not) in the near future after Google has fully removed author photo and G+ circle count from SERPs?


  1. After this change organic CTR will drop and ads CTR will increase – let’s face it; Google doesn’t make money off of organic CTR. [Share this ]


  1. Meta description and title will more strongly influence CTR in the absence of author picture and G+ count – back to basics, content marketing and a consistent story will become more important.
    [Share this ]


  1. Google+ and authorship mark-up adoption will not drop, as Google Authorship expert Mark Traphagen points out, – this is not a first step in Google’s plan to abandon G+. [Share this ]


So what you should do next or should keep doing:

  1. Create and maintain your G+ profile. Since the G+ circle count will not be displayed, the playing field has been levelled. You should see this as an opportunity and not a challenge. For those who are new to the game, the lack of G+ circle count will not affect your CTR. Those who are old and entrenched, maintaining authorship mark-up and sharing content over G+ takes very little effort and has SERP ranking benefits. So there is no reason to stop now.


  1. Since meta description and title will play a bigger role in CTR, good marketers should take this chance to perfect their copy writing skills. Better copy which is consistent with your content marketing story will lead to a sustained higher CTR. At the end of the day, Google favours consistency and a good meta description that explains perfectly what the searcher can expect is consistency.


  1. Finally, with every major action Google is taking it’s telling us to stop using tricks and loopholes to get a better ranking; instead focus on creating amazing content and engage with your audience in a genuine way. Then your goals, your customer’s goals and Google’s goals are aligned perfectly.


For more related articles check out:
9 Must Read Articles on SEO and Link Building for 2014
Online Marketing Month in Review May 2014 – Google reigns surpreme and link building enjoys a revival
Storytelling and Content Marketing Virality: 7 Strategies

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Karan Sharma

Karan Sharma

Karan is online editor and inbound marketing manager at linkbird - an SaaS tool for online marketers to efficiently increase the online visibility of their brand or company through SEO, content marketing and online PR. When Karan is not creating content or researching the SEO industry, he enjoys foreign cultures, learning new things and awesome quotes.

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