If you spend a long time looking at Google and if you spend a long time tracking your competitors then you may have become irked by those little photos. You know the ones? The ones next to your competitor’s site listings that features a smirking photo of your arch enemy gloating that he or she is still above you in the search rankings.
If you have been trying to get your own little photo next to your website listing, as you have heard that it is good for search engine rankings, increases click-thorughs and you want to show the world your shining whites, then the good news is that it is time to stop bothering. Google has announced that it is scrapping them.
This is obviously bad news for anybody who has verified the authorship of their site and has been basking in the fame that these little photos bring. However, the official research from Google suggests that click-through rates are not that different with or without the photos. Verified authors will also still receive an author bi-line in the search results.
Google’s official statement about this decision explains that it is to become more mobile friendly and to create seamless results across all devices.
The questions remains about what is Google’s long-term plan for Google Plus. It is still uncertain in the world of SEO and digital marketing whether or not it is worth investing heavily in Google Plus now or not and whether this decision is related to Google Plus.
Still keeping an author bi-line may mean that Google will continue to let authorship influence search results, or they may be scrapping the authorship idea altogether. Only time will tell.