It almost seem like Google is just trying to get more people to sign up on Google+, the author markup required to make a photo show up in Googles SERPs next to a result is unnecessary – all it really does, is giving certain authors an unfair advantage.
The idea is that higher quality content should have a photo next to it, and therefor help users "discover" great content. We are however not fooled that easily here on Brugbart – we know there are better ways to allow the display of author information in the SERPs – a simple HTML meta tag would be enough, and it doesn't require us to link back to Google+ from our profiles.
Google was quoted from their own website:
Google is piloting the display of author information in search results to help users discover great content.
Quality of content doesn't have anything to do with the display of author information. Enough information is already being displayed by showing the URL. What is there to do if the author is multiple? Won't the results with author information stand out more, and overall just be more inviting to click on to users? If so, Google does have a real problem on their hands.
Author information in search results
To display Author information, you need to place a link for your Google+ profile, either on each page written that you have written, or on your profile page. This link should be tagged with the the rel="author" attribute/value – the problem with that is, it assumes you have a Google+ profile, those who do not are basically disfavored by Google..
Profile picture Your Google+ profile picture should be a good, recognizable headshot.
And why is it that we cant use a logo from our website? A logo can be just as recognizable as a photo – sometimes a photo might not even be available, this is the case if the company owns the content, or it has multiple authors.
Google is becoming to big, leaving little room left for those who helped fuel the company in its child hood, that is all the happy website owners around the world.
Google Plus is an Unwanted Addition in my Stomach
Isn't your stomach starting to feel bloated with all those social sites? First it was Facebook, then Twitter – there is just barely room for both, since they are so different – but Google Plus is merely a meaningless attempt to add in another dish to the table. Integrating Plus so tightly with search is a very bad move, and it can turn out to be unfair to many site owners, it is clearly making results stand out from those without author information.
There can be many reasons why you do not want to join another social site, not to mention all the reasons why author markup might not work for your site.
- You don't want to join Google Plus
- You might not be using your real name
- Maybe you don't want to show a photo of yourself on the Internet
- Your company owns the content, so google should display a company logo and company name in its author information.
- You do not want to use visible author links, since they are irrelevant on your site.
All of the above reasons are relevant problems that Google should deal with. If someone wants to use a nickname, then they should be allowed to do so. This is the Internet after all! If someone wants to use a website logo as their photo, then they should be allowed to do so! Finally and most importantly, we certainly shouldn't have to link to a profile on Google Plus to be able to have author information included, linking to a Company/website About page, or a personal profile page, located on our own domain should be more than enough!
Google is obviously trying to get more people to join the Plus network, they are just doing it a dirty way – luring website owners with author information. It is to be hoped that Google will loosen up, and allow website owners to link within their own domain as well. Doing this will in no way lower the quality of search – the idea that additional author information should be a quality indicator is flawed to begin with.