Google uses over 200 algorithms to rank web pages, and they change the rules frequently, which has a direct impact on how Search Engine Optimization works. Here’s some news about the latest change—Google Authorship is Dead.



What is Google Authorship?

Google authorship is a way to link your content (blogs etc) to a Google profile—the idea being that people with profiles would get recognized and read more often. With Google’s encouragement, people who adopted the practice were benefiting from improved ranking, allowing even small companies with an active content marketing program to show up on page one, for specific search terms.

That just changed. Google has concluded that the experiment didn’t fundamentally influence the way people behaved (in terms of clicks) and so has backed away from using Authorship to rank pages.

Is This Big Bad Google Punishing the SEO world?

Not really.

Google has been pretty consistent with one key message—they want quality web pages to rise to the top. Why? So that users have a great experience and (because it’s not all about philanthropy) so that Google can continue to dominate the online search space.

As with any “product”, modifications are necessary, both small tweaks as well as large overhauls, so you can expect more of the same into the foreseeable future.

How Does this Impact You?

It depends.

If you are in the majority you probably never used Google authorship in the first place, meaning the competition from those that did use it just went away.

For those who rode the wave for the last 2 years, well, times are a-changin and you need to review your Search Engine Optimization strategy—talk to your SEO folks as soon as possible, there’s no point in spending money chasing this particular model—it’s time to redirect your SEO tactics and budget.

The Underlying Messages

There are a couple of underlying messages: While SEO isn’t necessarily complicated from an implementation standpoint, staying on top of the “rules” can be a challenge.

The consequences for not staying current range from wasted money (on ineffective SEO) to systematically destroying your ranking (by doing something that Google used to consider as good, but now considers to be bad).

As the saying goes: “If you think professional SEO is expensive, try putting it in the hands of an amateur.”

For an in-depth review of Google Authorship check out this article from Search Engine Land