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Authorship & Google+ Profile Pics - I got a great clickthrough boost
freejung




msg:4415218
 10:44 pm on Feb 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google has acknowledged my authorship markup and attributed my Google+ profile as the author of my pages. So now my profile pic appears next to my listings in the SERPs.

At first this actually seemed to hurt clickthrough. Apparently people didn't feel that my mug shot was relevant to their searches.

So I changed my profile pic to an image that's relevant to the content of my main site, in particular to a seasonal topic that's important. I saw an immediate, significant boost in clickthrough, mostly on the SERPs that are directly relevant to the pic but also somewhat on more generic SERPs as well.

What really impressed me is that the change in profile pic took effect instantly. I changed the pic, and the SERPs changed right away - so it's pulling the pic directly from my profile.

This opens up a whole new realm of image-based clickthrough enhancement. I'll have to experiment with different images to find out what will work best for the whole site.

 

tedster




msg:4415275
 2:46 am on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Good to hear. Is your new profile pic some kind of headshot? Google's been pretty clear that it needs to be, so keep that in mind in case something shifts.

100up




msg:4415453
 3:12 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

A headshot, really? I never came across that in my reading. I'll have to look again. Our profile pic is just an alternate version of our little logo, which I guess might explain why it's not showing up.

Content_ed




msg:4415465
 3:32 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, Google insists on a headshot. But it does tempt be to replace my picture with a cute redhead girl I know:-)

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4415470
 3:44 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Facial recognition software is in play, if that redhead has a public facebook profile or other source of pictures you may actually hurt your own rankings by doing that :)

Just wait until traffic cam pictures join the recognition mix, your speeding habits may play a role in your rank too, mug shot anyone ?

rlange




msg:4415481
 3:56 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Author information in search results [support.google.com]: If you want your authorship information to appear in search results for the content you create, you'll need a Google Profile with a good, recognizable headshot as your profile photo.

They use the word "need", but I'm not entirely sure if it's a requirement or a very strong suggestion.

--
Ryan

potentialgeek




msg:4415506
 4:52 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

In my sector there's somebody whose picture is his/her left eye. First name is probably not Lisa. Lol.

freejung




msg:4415522
 5:17 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I didn't realize that it needed to be a headshot either. I'll have to change it back. But now I'm tempted to remove my authorship markup, as having a headshot seems to actually hurt my clickthrough.

That's annoying.

freejung




msg:4415523
 5:22 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hmmm... well, I just thought of a way around the problem, but I'll have to take a new pic and do a bit of post-production work on it: I could make the profile pic a good, recognizable headshot of me holding the relevant object. That might not work as well, but it complies with the directive and is probably better than just my face.

aristotle




msg:4415632
 9:55 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I didn't realize that it needed to be a headshot either. I'll have to change it back


From what you're seeing, it sounds as if Google isn't enforcing the rule requiring a headshot. Until/Unless they do start enforcing it, why change it back? The higher CTR you're getting in the meantime might even boost your rankings and bring even more traffic.

numnum




msg:4415668
 12:58 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Authorship of nonfiction published by a corporation is often attributed to the corporation/publisher rather than to any individual (one or more work-for-hire writers). It would seem to me that the logo of the corporation/publisher/author would be perfectly appropriate and acceptable as a "headshot."

I've read the Google support page (at the link provided earlier in this thread), and it does not address this question -- other than obliquely by way of an example that shows a photo of a corporate logo (GameStop) at the top left of the snippet and the individual author's headshot at the top right of the snippet.

gyppo




msg:4415702
 4:05 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I added this to my blog about a month ago & yet to see anything translate through to the SERPS. Works fine when I check against the Rich Snippets tool too.....

tedster




msg:4415707
 4:26 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Authorship of nonfiction published by a corporation is often attributed to the corporation/publisher rather than to any individual

Yup - and Google introduced rel="publisher" mark-up to take care of that case.

numnum




msg:4415754
 8:20 am on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yup - and Google introduced rel="publisher" mark-up to take care of that case.

Okay, I thought as much. I would have been very surprised if G had not accounted for this. Thanks for paying attention and for replying, tedster.

freejung




msg:4415984
 5:44 pm on Feb 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Until/Unless they do start enforcing it, why change it back?

Because it's uncertain whether, if/when they do start enforcing it, that enforcement will take the form of simply removing the rich snippet, or reducing rankings. It's not worth the risk.

Besides, I think I can follow the guideline and still get a boost as I mentioned above. If that works, I would prefer to keep the rich snippet. I'll let you know how that goes.

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