Google Authorship: So... That Happened.11/06/2014
Like any good SEO agency, the Dirigo SEO consulting team took a flying leap onto the Google Authorship bandwagon, to the benefit of both our clients and ourselves.
It worked pretty well if you did it right. We saw not only increased SERP CTRs (and thus increased organic traffic), but increased Googlebot activity as well. But even before we had our anecdotal confirmations to back us up, the big G was giving us every indication that they were in this game for the long-haul.
So it followed for our clients... Our practiced explanations and nuanced logical arguments. Our soundbites of veteran industry-insider analysis. Our impassioned futurist soliloquies. Our invoices. Endless client hours spent so wisely on implementation of Authorship, and with such satisfying results!
Then came that familiar moment to which SEOs have become forcibly and routinely accustomed. On August 28th, Google's John Mueller announced the abrupt end of the authorship program.
Fair enough, I guess. But for those of us who did adopt and properly implement authorship, where does that leave us? Well, according to Mueller's G+ post, it turns out it wasn't really wasted time:
In addition to results authored by members of your G+ circles, Sullivan also confirmed with Google that authorship markup is still being used to display author rich snippets for in-depth article results , and makes the case for continuing to apply authorship markup to active blogs (and not just because Google isn't the only search engine that may be using authorship markup, either):
We know that structured markup of any kind will give our clients more and better opportunities for visibility in search, including those yet to be devised. We also know that the future evolution of search does not solely depend on the vast algorithmic and computational innovations that the search engines must make in order to better understand the human meaning of web content and of user search queries.
It also depends on the content publishers (site owners and their expert online marketing strategists) to meet the search engines halfway by providing whatever semantic hints their algorithms can use to understand our businesses, our markets, our ideas and our value propositions accurately enough to connect us with more searchers who are genuinely interested in them.
This will remain the core mission of Technical SEO for the foreseeable future.