Bye bye rel=author – Google removes authorship

So it’s been a while since I’ve written here. Not that there haven’t been things to write about but August was an incredibly busy month for me. Many many projects and not enough hours in the work day. But I couldn’t let this one go past without commenting on it.

Last week the great god Google removed authorship from search results pages.

The GGG had already ditched author photos from SERPS earlier this year, so this didn’t come as too much of a surprise, but it’s still a touch annoying. Not least because it was pretty much the only good reason to maintain a personal profile on G+, and now those are worthless for search.

(And before anyone starts telling me how useful and wonderful G+ is how we should all be on it? Don’t, just don’t. G+ is not a social network I would choose to use if there wasn’t a search benefit. It’s just not. That’s my personal prefence. Take it or leave it.)

Anyway, there’s goes authorship from the SERPs. So long authorship we barely knew ye.

The thing that bothers me about this is that it looks me years to get authorship inplemented on my sites. Years and months of pushing and arguing and writing “how to create a G+ profile” documents, and now, pffft, it’s gone.

And yes, I know that the schema tag still exists, but the reason the use it is gone.

Publisher is apparently still a ranking factor but I don’t have that implemented on my sites. I had author instead. And rel=publisher never seemed to do all that much. Most of the SERP value that a site can get seems to be stuff you can have just by verifying your company G+ page.

So I don’t know.

I guess one of the reasons why I’m not happy about this is that as I work for a news producing organisation, it was pretty much a quick win to push people on G+ and adding rel=author links to their work.

And now that option is off the table.

I’m on a bit of a back-to-the-drawing-board kick for search. I have good, high quality content on mobile optimised sites that pass the Page Speed Insight test. I have good domain authority and a healthy amount of incoming links. I have at least two sites which regualrly get over 50% of their not insubstantial traffic coming in on organic search.

I’m doing as much as I can to boost search, and now I’m going to have to figure out what else can be done. There aren’t enough hours in the day to handle my current project list, and now I need to find more.

I love my job, I really do. I just wish authorship could have stayed as an attainable search win just a little bit longer. It would have made my life easier.

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