I came across a feature in the UK search results for “seo” whereby it appears an unusual size of the Google Authorship tag. You can see the result below:
At first I thought I was logged in and this was just a recommended listing however on closer inspection the link “Terry Simmonds” actually points to a Google+ profile. I then checked a number of other pages to see if this was the same across multiple pages on the site:
This was not the case it was only the homepage of this website which Google shows the smaller Google Authorship thumbnail and link. I also thought that the review stars may be causing the authorship feature to appear smaller but when I looked at the rich snippet testing tool it gave me a normal result:
So what could this be? I have thought for a while that Google is giving a lot of kudos to any page with the authorship feature as it does draw a lot more of the SERP CTR even at lower positions (and probably takes away something from PPC too) – this could be then a test for a smaller thumbnail images being replaced in Google.