Google Discontinues Google Authorship

Google has announced that it is discontinuing its Google Authorship program. Practically this means that the search engine will no longer be tracking data from content using the rel=author markup.

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller had this to say, “I’ve been involved since we first started testing authorship markup and displaying it in search results. We’ve gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we’ve tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.” 

When Google Authorship was introduced search results would show an author’s profile photo and the number of people who had circled them. Google Authorship was a way for authors to identify themselves as the content creators for display purposes. The image here shows a historical snapshot of such a result.

Gary McLaren Authorship

In discontinuing this feature Google explained that including Authorship in the search results did not affect the amount of traffic to sites. But more importantly many blog and web site owners felt the process for markup and linking was too complex to implement. A recent study by Stone Temple Consulting discovered that 70% of authors made no effort in connecting their content with authorship.

The author profile images were actually dropped back in June. At the time Mueller stated in a Google+ post that the decision to remove the photos was to simplify “the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results.” Now the bylines are gone too.”

Mueller adds, “It’s also worth mentioning that Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query — both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn’t impact these social features.”

For more on this latest development and how it affects you I recommend these two excellent articles:



How to Set Up Google Authorship with Your Google+ Profile

Have you noticed that some people have a profile photo appear alongside their results in Google Search? Would you like to do that with articles and posts that you have written?  This post explains how to officially link your content to your Google+ profile. You can set this up for multiple domains to which you contribute.

Gary McLaren Authorship

Why Set Up Google Authorship?

Having your content officially linked to you will help to raise your credibility and your standing in Google’s search ranking algorithms. Google Authorship is part of Google’s strategy to authenticate quality content and links. By using Google Authorship:

  • Your results will stand out more with a profile photo.
  •  Google often delivers personalized search results to people based upon their Google Plus connections and recommendations. So people you’ve connected with are more likely to see your results near the top!

How to Set Up Google Authorship

If you:
  • are the only person posting on your blog then this is fairly straightforward to set up, as detailed below.
  • have multiple authors contributing to your blog then follow the instructions here instead.

1. Be sure to upload a clear and recognisable head shot photo on your Google+ Profile.

2. Include a byline containing your name on each web page containing your content, e.g. “By Gary McLaren” or “Author: Gary McLaren is…”.  Your byline name must match the name on your Google+ profile.

3. Prove to Google that you have an email address on the same domain as your content, e.g.

You do this by adding the email address to the Work section of your profile. Don’t worry, if you wish you can keep the email address private between you and Google.Google will send you a verification message to that email address. When you verify that you received it, Google will add a link to the domain in the “Contributor to” section of your profile.

4. From the byline on your article you should either

  • link directly to your Google+ Profile using the “rel=author” tag, e.g.Google Plus ID
  • link to your Author Page on the domain using  the “rel=author” tag, and then link from your Author Page  to your Google+ Profile using the “rel=me” tag, e.g.screenshot.673
Of course, make sure you use your Google ID and not mine!
If you are using WordPress, you can skip this 4th step by installing the Google Plus Authorship plugin or similar.

That’s it!

Be patient as the photos may not appear beside search results immediately. You can also go here to check that everything worked correctly. This will allow you to see results like this:

Check Google Authorship
If you don’t have an email address on the same domain see this alternative method of setting up the link to the domain.
See the official page at Google explaining these steps for setting up Google Authorship.


SEO for Startups in 10 Minutes

In this YouTube video Maile Ohye from Google advises your startup as if she had only 10 minutes as your SEO consultant. Just a few of the recommendations she makes:

  • Choose if you want your visitors to see your site at or
  • Verify ownership of your site with Google Webmaster Tools
  • Perform a domain background check
  • Include analytics code
  • Consider customer personas in your site design strategy
  • Include relevant keywords naturally.
  • and more… there’s a lot packed into this short ten minute video.

How to Write Killer Blog Headlines


How to Write Killer HeadlinesOK, so you are building a platform online. You’re off to a good start. And you have a blog? Even better!

But with so many online distractions what is it that can grab your readers’ attention and get them to read your posts? A good title or headline!

Today I want to give you some tips for writing killer blog headlines.

One of the most important parts of any post you write is the title or headline. There are several reasons why it is so important:

  • Your titles are important for search engine optimization and page ranking.
  • Your headline is often used by default when your page is shared by readers on social media networks.
  • Your headline is often the “make or break” factor that influences whether people even bother to load the page in their browser and read what you have written in the post.

So how do you write killer headlines that hook your readers and compel them to see what you have to say? Here are some proven ways to do it.

Explain How to Do Something

  • Learn How To …. Without …..
  • Discover How To …. In The Next 10 Minutes
  • How to Improve Your …. with One Simple Change
  • How to …. – A Case Study

Promise a List of Useful Items

  • 8 WordPress Plugins I Couldn’t Do Without
  • 10 Things Your Mother Never Told You About ….

Explain Why Things Are Like That

  • Why Authors Need to Build Strong Platforms
  • The Main Reasons Why

Ask a Question

  • Are You Using These Two Powerful Strategies?
  • What Are The Toughest Issues Faced By …. Today?
  • Why Do People Wrongly Think That … Will Be Easy?


  • A Shocking 70% Of …. Fail in the First Year
  • The Hidden Dangers of ….
  • 5 Warning Signs of ….
  • Why You Will Never Become A ….


  • The 5 Most Common Mistakes That ….
  • Have You Made These … Mistakes?
  • The Top 33 Words Misused by Bloggers

Context Phrase: Headline

  • Warning: Don’t Try These …. Without ….
  • The Hunger Games:  The Strategy Behind The Book’s Success
  • From Rags to Riches: The Incredible Story Of ….

Hidden Knowledge

  • 7 Powerful Secrets the “Experts” Don’t Want You To Know
  • The Real Reason Why My Twitter Followers Grew 1200% This Year

Do you like these ideas for headlines? Do you have any more suggestions like these? Please leave your comments below.