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Is Google+ Without Authorship Worth Using?

by Will Mitchell  |  
October 27, 2014

By now, everyone in the SEO world knows that Google canceled Authorship because "it isn't as useful to our users as we'd hoped." From now on, you'll never see an author's photo next to his or her articles in Google.

Google's official statement is that "removing Authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites," but I'm calling baloney. Look back just a couple years and you'll find countless studies where the Authorship markup was found to improve a search result's CTR by 150%. There was even a heatmapping study that showed how users' eyes naturally hover over search results with large profile images, even when those results weren't in the top three.

Google Authorship and Plus were closely connected from the start. It's safe to say that most marketers only ever participated on Google+ to take advantage of its impact on search results. Now that Google's bait-and-switched its platform's original selling point, is Google+ still worth using?

For most of us, I believe the answer (with a few exceptions) is no.

Here are four quick reasons why Google+ without Authorship isn't worth using.

1. Author Rank still isn't a thing

Some people have argued that Google could still use the rel="author" tag to implement its 2005 Agent Rank patent, more commonly known as Author Rank. The concept of Author Rank really started circulating the SEO community in early 2012, and it was supposed to be more disruptive than all the Panda updates combined. However, to this day there's no evidence that Author Rank ever actually made it into the mainstream search algorithm.

And guess what?

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Will Mitchell is a young entrepreneur and marketer in Tampa, FL. Learn more about him at the StartupBros About Page.

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