There has been an increase in discussion regarding the Google authorship markup as of late, partly due to a belated welcome email by Google to the authorship program but also because of some of the extra benefits they are starting to bring to authors. There’s no denying that authorship and author rank are going to be the next big thing in SEO.
A few days ago, having returned from a very nice holiday in Greece I noticed that all my authorship thumbnails had been removed from Google – not exactly the welcome home I had anticipated, so I checked Google Webmaster Tools and could clearly see that my impression count and clicks had dropped off the face of the earth:
I thought it strange so I checked the rich snippets testing tool on all my blogs just in case Google was either testing something, all worked fine:
Worth noting here is that all my blogs, not just one or two, that previously had authorship tags triggering the thumbnails suddenly stopped:
I looked online to see if anyone else had experienced anything like this but couldn’t find any information – but what I found interesting after a day or two was that I could see that for most of my blogs the impression count and number of clicks had actually peaked at the highest number in many months – without authorship thumbnails.
Also in Google Webmaster Tools the impressions and clicks of the site increased to the highest point in 2 months
Another strange point to mention is that for all my blogs the “about us” pages still did trigger the image so this is again evidence that technically everything is working correctly.
So 4 days later, the authorship images have begun to return to my blogs but rather oddly one by one and not for all blog posts. It’s almost like the tags are being reviewed section by section and then set live – very odd, will give everyone an update when I learn more.
About the author
My name is Matt Ridout, I've been working in digital marketing for 9 years; worked for agencies and currently Head of SEO at fashion startup called Farfetch. Try to test my own theories.