The "End" of the Google-Authorship program
Recognizing the Author - or "elevating" the Author's rank
The idea was to tie an Author-identity to "Rich Snippets"
And to have those "snippets" rank higher in the Google-Search paradigm. This would, by implication "help" an author who is struggling for "recognition" for his or her content. But Google deemed the scheme un-worthy and they dropped the program.
I remember having a breakfast meeting with a group of 4 other small business men in my area, and one of them (who earns his living by BEING a 'web marketer') insisted to me. "Get yourself Google Authorship status"... And I did a preliminary check on the concept.
Wasn't impressed with it.
FIRST of all. It "locked me in", to something like ONE account. ONE identity. ONE "set of parameters" that would define "me"... as "Me"... (or something like that). I just came away from my preliminary investigations of this, that the way in which Google "empowered the freedom of your voice"...
was by LOCKING YOU INTO their hairy claws.
Author IS- as an Author- DOES
Their ranking systems, and THEIR chosen methods of "recognizing" you as an Author. They wanted your identity. A facial picture. And your web accounts would be the "foundation" that Google built their entire "recognition" of you from. Basically, this is a minor rant about WHY Google would want to "define YOU absolutely" and know (absolutely) who, where, what you are.... and THEN...
They'd ALLOW you to rank better within their system.
All that was lacking was the "heel click" and goose-stepping nazi's in the courtyard.
I am not afraid of being PUBLIC, nor even of stripping NAKED if need be, to "do" what I wish to do... and when it is TIME for me to "nakedly" (and totally) market myself to the public I will.
And I will NOT require Google's Help to do it. I'll "enlist" their help. (later) by paying a fee. And that's all I expect from them. And that's all we DO get from them.
"Help"... for a price.
"Authorship"? Holy COW... what HAPPENED to just producing the content and LETTING the search engines find you?
Oh... I FORGOT... if you want to USE Google AND rank well (at the same time)... you would have to PAY for that. You will "pay" in one fashion, or in another ... but you WILL "pay". In other words, it is proving (beyond all doubt) to be an entity seeking to extract "value" in any way possible.
Just use another search engine. We SHOULD be, you know... We Should.
--- And learn to RANK.
Just go back to organic ranking. And paying a professional web marketer (like my friend at the previously mentioned breakfast) if you ARE that "serious" about it... to advertise for you. OR. simply pay, (directly) the 'piper'... who in this case, would be Google. For the "service" of advertising and getting recognition. (Which probably is why Google authorship REALLY wasn't practical). It'd just be so darned un-popular, when setup and run like it was. It was horrible actually. I looked and shied away from it. It wasn't worth the "joining". I could do BETTER, on my own, if I wanted to.
But don't trade in freedom for "recognition" in the web searches.
By the end of June 2014- Google removed Author photos
Last summer, the "Authorship" program was winding down. Google had concluded that people, when using cell phones for searches, did not WANT the pictures of people popping up on their cell phone screens and taking up limited screen space.
Google did this in an attempt to "unify the user experience" for cell phone users or PC's.
What's that translate to?
Google is "increasing efficiency" of their data stream by reducing that data-stream as tailored to the "lowest common denominator" of the CELL PHONE.
Author pictures took up too much space. And Google IS good at the "analytics". They ARE, and they won't use anything that the numbers tell them is less than "useful" or efficient for the customer experience.
But if I AM.... doing a "push" to be recognized? I may actually WANT my picture out there in the public.
I still say organic ranking and naturally evolved sites are good too. A more "organic" style of search engine may be good too. Than an "engine" that wants to tailor and pre-chew information for us continually. Because with Google right in the middle of the mix, that gives THEM a great deal of control over the shaping of how a basic search even proceeds. Let alone concern over the accuracy of the search representing a reality.
If I happen to be "the guy" who writes THE PAPER that describes how to build a light-speed spacecraft. And I happen to WANT to tell the world... I just don't think I'd want GOOGLE "deciding" anything for me, unless I ask them to. But, this is the nature of free market. Google DOES have the right to work any way they wish. I just hope the general public realizes that Google is not "THE-internet". And all of their rules should not be followed.
I've watched authors STRUGGLE, that used to rank BEAUTIFULLY, and these Authors actually had tons and tons of good content. These are people who are popular authors with thousands in their following. But then Google made a "change"... And the Google search engines completely altered the subsequent rankings of these "innocent" authors, who depended on this for their incomes.
Suddenly they STOPPED ranking the ways they used to. And they were forced to pull their content.
Sounds just a little "big brotherly" to me. Or potentially so.
This is a picture of your author
The Roots of "Authorship" - is "Agent Ranking" of 2007
The "Agent Rank Patent" described a system for connecting multiple pieces of content with a digital signature rpresenting one or more "agents" (authors) This identification process would then be used to "score" an agent on the varied "parameters" and "authority" signals which link to this "agents" content. And the derived score would result in a search ranking result.
In June of 2011 Google announced (publicly) it would begin supporting the "Authorship Markup". They began encouraging content creators to use new 'tags" like "rel=author" and "rel=me", which would allow them to connect their content to their identity.
Google-PLUS was the "final piece" to the authorship puzzle.
Which I can use anyway to "mark me" if I so wish, and have begun experimenting with. I've experimented with using Google plus in the advertising for small business, and ... yes, it can help a lot with your local efforts of recognition.
But, Google went through 3 years of testing and decided in the end it "wasn't so great".
And the ONE thing I've gathered (over time) from Google? If you just want to keep yourself BUSY... do what google SAYS to do... all the time. (And they will keep you "busy")
Most of us call that, "jumping through hoops".
But you will STILL "rank" ... on the web, if...
you do use alternative web searches, and strive to MAKE yourself rank. This is leaving Google out of that picture though. And you can STILL "rank" with Google if you wish. But just remember.
Google is NOT... "The Internet".
-so don't GIVE it to them. As IF it is "theirs".
So- "Google Authorship" failed
And resulted in MANY people who bought into it registering GIVING tons of info. Limiting themselves to the restrictions and requirements of Google. Conforming their content, and writing styles TO that of Googles "requirements" (if they wanted to "rank")... and...
Stifled creativity in the end? Maybe?
I dunno, whenever there is heavy "regulation" of something historically that regulation is a "burden" more than a help. Often, "regulation" drives away creativity. I, for one, really do want to be a UDEMY Teacher, but I've found their "requirements" for producing videos very onerous and limiting in an unrealistic way. I've had people judge my videos to be "noiseless"-- But when THEY (UDEMY) listen to the videos ... when a "udemy professional" gets it. They come back with "we hear a hiss". (I've produced "quiet" video's ... trust me- I'm NOT stupid.)
But I am NOT George Lucas! With the latest "THX" recording styles either.
So, Fine. You can hear the "hiss" of the cosmic background radiation of our universe... I'm going elsewhere.... where "cosmic hiss" is acceptable. And make my stuff by my OWN requirements...
So too with "Google Authorship". Unless it is truly an easy way to HELP recognize an Author, and to let he or she rank better, it does not help the author. It actually sounds like an "easy" thing to do for google. I fail to see the difficulty in this. "Authorship recognition / ranking". But the fact that the "program" is scrapped means to me, that "Google Authorship" had "other concerns" than merely authorship ranking.
So, I will write- where I can WRITE what I want. HOW I want. Without Google-ranking, I guess.