Google's John Mueller today announced that the Google author images we are used to seeing are to be removed from both desktop and mobile search results (SERPs). This is a major review of visual design of Google's search results.
“We've been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices. As a part of this, we're simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count”
In case you're not sure about what this means, here is an example of author images as they appear today;
And here is an example of what all search results will look like once the change takes place;
Google's Mueller went on to say that click through rates from the normal, ‘unadorned' search results would be unaffected but I disagree with that statement. All the testing that we have done here at SEO Web Magic shows a sharp decrease when the google authorship image is not showing in SERPs.
One Of The Greatest Conversion Strategies
Google Gave Away For Free
Having your image show next to your listing has proved to be an incredibly powerful conversion tool. There are also a lot of trust issues with people purchasing via the web. The web is so impersonal and to actually see who you are going to deal with before you even click on the website link gives people a chance to see if they like the look of you.
Our research showed that if a site was ranking 2 or 3 in Google search with the image showing, it often got more leads than the number one site that didn't have the authorship image. Having the image also made a listing stand out, they really popped off the page and attracted attention.
We had been using the power of that image long before others in the local SEO community. If I remember correctly we were the only SEO company with an authorship image on the first page of Google for about 2 years. The others couldn't work out how to do it. Getting authoriship images to show was a key strategy for all our clients, they all benefited from the higher conversion rates.
Oh well, this is Google and they change the goal posts every 3 minutes. We will now find something else to assist our clients stand out. We are part of 2 of the most powerful master mind groups in the world and between us we manage many thousands of first page ranked websites. We are always at the fore front of all changes and provide SEO services that are cutting edge.
When a new client comes to us and we reverse engineer the strategy being used by their previous SEO company we almost always find they are using strategies that are 2 – 3 years out of date. Clearly why these businesses are looking for a new partner to get their site ranked.
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