Nothing you did. I've been hearing about rich snippets vanishing for several people. I think it's a Google change, but exactly what and why is not clear right now.
|PubCon: Matt Cutts: The ability to have and use rich snippets may be taken away for low quality sites in the coming months [searchengineland.com...] |
This might explain some of it.
Barry Schwartz of SEO Roundtable wrote a post a while back about a Google-acknowledged "Authorship bug." My own rich snippets disappeared earlier this year from Google results for my main site (after being displayed almost since the beginning of the Authorship program), although my photo and byline still appear on search results for several related blogs.
So why did Google ever give rich snippets to low quality sites in the first place? It doesn't take a genius to realize that this would be a magnet for spammers. They should have tried to exclude low quality sites from the beginning.
|So why did Google ever give rich snippets to low quality sites in the first place? |
Maybe for the same reason they gave rich snippets to e-commerce sites that put authorship markup on sell pages: They probably wanted to get the product out there and refine it afterwards.
IMHO, the more important question is how much effort will go into refining and debugging a beta product whose original project heads have moved on.
Good riddance, rich snippets are for the most part not seen by visitors anyway. If Google wishes to fancy up certain results they can evaluate pages on their own time/dime, imo. Whatever happened to "not building for search engines" ?
RIP Tedster, the thread made me do a doubletake, it's from April.
At PubCon 2013 Matt Cutts made a couple of statements that indicated they would be dialing back the number of sites for which rich snippets would display.
You'll find the relevant statements, some analysis of what Cutts' was saying and thoughts from marketers in this Google+ thread:
|At PubCon 2013 Matt Cutts made a couple of statements that indicated they would be dialing back the number of sites for which rich snippets would display. |
Not surprisingly, Authorship has been adopted more heavily by SEOs and their clients (or by bloggers and others who are aware of Authorship) than by rank-and-file site owners. Big media have also been slow to jump on the authorship bandwagon, for the most part, probably because they aren't eager to promote their writers' personal brands at the expense of their own.
Because of this, rich snippets are likely to be skewed toward the "commercial" and away from the "informational," which is almost certainly the opposite of what Google wants. So it's reasonable to guess that an overall "rich snippet" reduction of 15 percent will mean a bigger hit on sales and promotional pages than on, say, informational pages and blogs.
Side note: In September, Google announced partnerships with Wordpress.com and Typepad to embed authorship code automatically on blogs whose owners signed on to Wordpress.com or Typepad with their Google+ accounts. So, while it's possible that Google is playing down Authorship markup and its much-discussed AuthorRank or "Agent Rank" initiative, Authorship isn't likely to go away any time soon.
With schema do you need to include authorship on products?
|With schema do you need to include authorship on products? |
No. There might be a few exceptions, but with all schema markup I've used to date each is optional. You can include it if you want or ignore it. Same is true for most other element options. You can apply only as much as you want to convey as much as you can justify.
|Rich Snippets The ability to have and use rich snippets may be taken away for low quality sites in the coming months. |
Having nothing to do with questions above about authorship on products...
To expand on the possible withdrawal of rich snippets suggested by Matt Cutts... I'm seeing some likely similarities between Google's treatment of rich snippets and the treatment of Authorship discussed in this thread...
Google Authorship deemphasizing markup, moving to entity extraction?
In both cases... ie, rich snippets and authorship... the markup is a type of metadata, whose usefulness is subject to spam and limited by the rate of adoption. As AJ Kohn notes in his article, slow adoption and spam are among the reasons why Google is turning to indications beyond markup for Authorship....
|Authorship then becomes about Google's ability to extract entities from documents, matching those entities to a corpus that contains descriptors of that entity (i.e. – social profiles, official page(s), subjects) and then measuring the activity around that entity... |
Schema markup for rich snippets, I suspect, might be more necessary for extraction than Google markup will be for Authorship, but it's clear that Google will increasingly be looking to other confirming signals to evaluate whether the site itself merits rich snippets.
Over the years, I've described Google's index as a multi-dimensional model of user behavior and the web. I think that multiple indications of trust, authority, and user popularity are increasingly being considered to confirm all markup, all links, all content, etc. As Google gains confidence in its ability to make accurate discriminations, it will do so... and low quality sites which don't merit rich snippets are not going to get or retain them.
I get what you are saying and I somewhat agree. You want to promote highly professional, quality companies. I totally agree. Now here is my issue. In my niche on page 1 five of the slots are Ebay. Ebay uses a lot of structured data and that is fine. But here we are promoting Ebay and how many times have you ordered something from Ebay and received a very unprofessionally packaged product? Or you get a product not in the condition described. So we have Google dictating who can use the structured data and stating they are leaning toward quality sites. Ebay doesn't really even control the entire sale process in a transaction from their site. So if Google is rewarding authority and professionalism I think Ebay is somewhat lacking.
Are there any new thoughts on the subject?
Specifically looking for information on how they deem particular markup to be of low quality as the Google blog states ...
Or how a site can be deemed low quality (and therefore chosen to not display markup) but still rank top 5 for competitive terms.
|Specifically looking for information on how they deem particular markup to be of low quality as the Google blog states ... |
In my own experience, domain has a lot to do with whether a given search result gets a photo and byline (or sometimes just a byline). I get the full photo/byline treatment for my blogs and a new site, but not for my main site that has been around longer, ranks higher in Google for similar queries, and *used* to get "rich snippets." (Never mind that I'm the same author in each case and authorship is set correctly up on all my sites. The five less-established domains get the rich snippets, and the bigger and older one doesn't.)
Also, it appears to me that Google Authorship is especially partial to blogs these days, possibly because:
1) Google has partnerships with several of the big blogging platforms, and...
2) Google may feel comfortable in assuming that blog posts are "authored content."
I can see a blog getting a leg up with fresh content, but when all else is equal between sites that aren't blogs (and are updating content along the same time frames), I'm having a hard time making the distinction between what is high and low quality.
(I assume that authorship works similar to other markup to a certain degree in these cases, but for my purposes, I'm not talking about authorship.)
Just because you write a blog article does not make you an expert or even mean you know the subject matter. Blogs are in my opinion one of the most abused areas out there. If I put up a video on YouTube am I a video director or a music artist? The lines that seem to distinguish between "someone" and a professional or expert seem to be rather vague.
|I can see a blog getting a leg up with fresh content, but when all else is equal between sites that aren't blogs (and are updating content along the same time frames), I'm having a hard time making the distinction between what is high and low quality. |
The point that I was making with my example is that "author snippets" or "rich snippets" aren't about quality--at least, for now. Google's Authorship algorithm is very much a work in progress, and its selection criteria aren't consistent from week to week or month to month.