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Google Removes Author Photos & Circle Counts From Search Results

Google gives authorship and Google takes away author pictures and circle count but the name of authors is still remain. On June 25, 2014, Google’s John Mueller announced on Google + that Google would be stop showing author images and Google + circle count in desktop and mobile 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.”

You can read my prior post to know about Google authorship.

My author profile image looks like below, before authorship going away-

Google Removes Author Photos & Circle Counts From Search Results

Now without Google authorship search results appear only with author’s name looks like below-

Google Removes Author Photos & Circle Counts From Search Results

Why did Google remove author pictures?

In the Google + John Mueller announced that “they were working to clean up the visual design of search results, and they also want to create a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices.”

This means Google has embraced mobile-first strategy. Mobile first means that mobile will exceed desktop as the primary way users access the web.

We can assume that author pictures are drop because many webmasters create their author headshot for enjoy and the web is moving towards a more visual experience.

We can also assume that Google has tested showing only bylines than pictures because both of mobile and desktop users seemed to happy with the data.

John Mueller said that they also want to improve search results and this new authorship design works better especially on mobile.

Dose Google authorship still have value?

Yes, Google authorship still have value and Google did not takes away authorship markup, they only remove author pictures for better mobile user experience. Authorship is one of the ways for Google to establish and introduce identify on the web. Google continues to count authoritative authors for promoting and better search results.

Although author photo and circle count gone away but authors’ name still stay in the search results and the byline can make a measurable difference in your visitor and also may improve your online visibility.

So, you can create your own authorship markup, Google isn’t changing the guidelines for creating authorship. Authorship doesn’t influence rankings so you don’t need to worry about new look of authorship.

You can track your authorship CTR using Google Webmaster Tools. Navigate to Labs and then click Author Stats to see how many time your author information has revealed in search results, along with total number of clicks, Impressions and average position.

Webmaster tool

Image credit : Bruce Clay

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