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Bing testing "Authorship"?

     
12:18 am on Mar 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Was doing some research and found this on a branded search: [i47.tinypic.com...]

Hadn't seen this before and didn't find it anywhere on a quick search.
11:22 am on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Is this new?
4:07 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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:: detour to bing wmt ::

Configure My Site : Verify Ownership: Oops, no, that's just BingSiteAuth. That's been there all along.

:: assorted other searches ::

Well, I'm ### if I can find it. Anyone? They're not just swiping the g+ links are they?
5:38 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Do a search for "matt cutts". You'll see it. I'm pretty surprised it was showing up in the example I posted.
9:49 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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... followed by a search for the next name that came inevitably to mind-- and I don't mean my own ;)

Holy ###. Who do they think they are-- google?!

But those aren't author images. They're images which appear on the site the SERP refers to. Further experimentation turned up one result where there was no picture of the person, so instead they gave a thumbnail of a rather pretty church pictured on a site that names the person. (I was deliberately re-enacting recent searches so I wouldn't have to keep loading more pages.)

Looks as if the images have to be something the computer perceives as a photograph-- maybe originally jpg?-- although the SERP has them in data-image format. Drawings of headshots from my /games/ pages don't show up, even when search is appropriately constrained.

Further search for my own name turns up a lot of pictures of women-- some of whom I wouldn't mind looking like-- but none of me. Heh, heh.
1:26 am on Mar 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Haha

Yes lucy24, it's not an "Authorship" per se, bc there's nothing attached to it as with Google. At first I thought it might only be images with structured data - schema.org, rdfa, etc - but that is also not the case. Like you said, it seems Bing is pulling images from the page of that search result that seem to describe the query.

I wrote a blog post about my full take on it (which I won't link to here bc I think we can't do that, but if you want it let me know) but basically, I think Bing is using it's "knowledge graph" info to give enhanced information connected to a query - as opposed to Google's angle of verifying and displaying Authors that publish work about a particular topic. Bing's focus is the query while Google's is the Author that answers the query.