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Content and Copy

Google Authorship: Dead But Not Forgotten

google-authorshipBy now you’ve heard the news: Google Authorship is dead. After three brief but glorious years the Big G has pulled the plug on the experiment that was Google Authorship and is no long supporting the markup nor will byl-line appear in search results. For freelancers and content producers who were trying to figure out how to effectively use authorship this latest development means that things have just gotten much simpler but it also means that a great tool for gaining instant street cred has effectively been taken off the table.

What Was Authorship Anyway?

Authorship was a long-lived experiment by Google’s standards but, unless you’re an industry insider you may have missed it and be wondering just what all the fuss is. In short, Google Authorship was its way of allowing content producers (i.e., authors) to identify a piece of work as beloging to them. You were able to assert your autorship by usig mark-up code in the HTML which wasn’t visible to humans. This was Google’s first foray into tightly controlling content attribution and further strengthening the grasp of Google+ (since your Google account was linked to your authorship).

In the good old days, before December 2013 when Google reduced the number of photos displayed per query and Jun 2014 when they were stricken completely, you  could be rewarded by having your name and photo appear next to your content in search results. Big deal right? Well, actually it was more than just an ego stroke because Google hinting that using authorship could result in more clicks. But, now that the plug has been pulled that’s all pretty much a moot point.

Why Did Google Ax Authorship?

Anyone familiar with Google knows she’s a fickle beast. Fickle but smart and with an obsessive addiction to metrics and testing. After three years of testing Google wasn’t seeing widespread adoption by webmasters and authors and, worse yet for a search engine, users weren’t engaging. In othher words, more clicks weren’t coming in. So, let Google Buzz, iGoogle and a host of other services Google Authorship was canned.

So, what’s next? There are a few theories out there, perhaps the best being that Google may seek t develop Author Rank but nothing’s certain. What is certain is that if you concern yourself with producing quality content, on a regular basis you will eventually start to get results. So, stick to it and have a great weekend!

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About Michael Rickicki

I am a freelance writer, translator, social media manager and co-owner of a mid-sized automotive accessories manufacturer and retailer in Brooklyn.

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This entry was posted on August 30, 2014 by in Content Writing and tagged , , , , , , , .
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