In the PURELY “my opinion” category of blog posts, let me just say I am very happy to see the end of Google Authorship. The highly trumpeted tool gave bloggers and online content providers the ability to have your writing show up with your picture and the number of your Google circles.
If you missed the announcement you can check out the official statement but in a nutshell, Google has said that the information provided with Authorship “….isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even from distract from those results”. (By the way – if you want a more in-depth and much more helpful discussion of the end of Authorship visit SearchEngineLand.)
Of course there’s no way of knowing how Google came to that conclusion but in my opinion, Google Authorship’s problems started because it was horribly, incredibly, unnecessarily difficult to understand, set up, and use (hence my happiness to see it go). While Google doesn’t say this directly, they do allude to it when citing low adoption rates and inaccurate implementation as additional reasons for dropping it.
So rant off. What should you, as a small-medium technology marketer, take away from this?
- You need an SEO company on your team. The average small-medium technology marketer simply doesn’t have the ability to stay on top of the latest changes to Google’s updates, betas, and SEO opportunities and tactics that are constantly changing. If you can’t afford to hire someone monthly, consider a contract that gives you a quarterly check-in and some additional hours to help implement the more “challenging” tools.
- Use bylines. Just because Google has dropped Authorship is not a reason to drop bylines in your online content. We don’t know what Google will do in the future but they have clearly signaled that they will continue to look at ways to showcase and rank content. At the very least, your byline is important as you promote your articles and build a following. There’s some question as to what a good byline looks like and where it should go (top of post/bottom, written by or a simple by.) There’s also talk about adding some descriptive language to your by-line: By Barbara Pfeiffer, Marketing Curmudgeon, The Partner Marketing Group. (Could be a great question to ask your SEO expert!)
And by the way – if you need any more ammunition for point 1, it seems POSSIBLE that Google will continue to use some form of images and tags for content through Google+. I’m going to rely on my own SEO expert to get some clarity on this (and if needed, do any implementation), but if you’d like to explore it on your own, Aaron Friedman on SearchEngline Land is a place to start.