Google Changes The Way Authorship Shows In Search Results

June 30th, 2014 by Mary Silva

John Mueller Post - Update To Google Search Image - Search Influence

Last Wednesday, June 25, John Muller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, made a pretty big announcement on his Google plus page. In the ongoing effort for a better and more consistent mobile experience, Google has decided to remove authorship circle count and profile photos from search results. Muller said, “Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.”

So, essentially the pretty but cluttered results weren’t positively influencing clicks.

What Does This Update Look Like?

Basically, the only change is that the author’s photo and circle count is gone.

Google Search Results Update - Example Image - Search Influence

So Why Bother With A Photo?

You might be thinking that this update means you’re now saved a step in optimizing your profile and content to appear in search results. In Google’s News section, however, your photo associated with your author Google+ will still appear. In fact, Google’s support page on “Author information in search results” still currently says that if “you want your authorship information to appear in search results for the content you create, you’ll need a Google+ Profile with a good, recognizable headshot as your profile photo.” You can also follow that link to find steps on how to get it set up properly.

I’m continually impressed by Google’s consistent updates to improve user experience. Many businesses could benefit from this kind of consumer-centric behavior.