Ok, now we all know Google hate our faces and decided to remove it completely from Google Search Results 🙂 no pun intended. Big news coming from Google+ last night that announced Google will drops profile photos, Google+ circle count from authorship in search results.
According to Google’s John Mueller, the less clutter (without profile photos) will not effect the click-through behaviour. Well agree to disagree, having an authentic authorship profile photo in search results can distinct an authors’s calibre and trustfulness when users search for information in Google search results. Click-through behaviour definitely will be effected by this move.
Before: Here is the old format, where normally having an image next to a search result would lead to more visibility and click-through:
After: Here is the new design for authorship. Notice that all you see is a click-able author name:
Why Google Drop Authorship Profile Photo?
There is some speculation that Google made this move to favour the visibility and click-through rate of Google Adwords Advertiser in search results. You could imagine a slight increase of 2% of CTR in Google search result on Adwords’s advertisement will endorse Google an extra couple of millions more ‘goodies’ so to speak, and this is only in smaller scale.
Google might want to prevent ‘Personal Branding’ using the beneficial of Google+ authorship. Do you know that some users click on the search result of a familiar faces rather than read the search results text, yes, it happened sometime. If i saw a ‘pretty face’ in profile photo, i would click it whatsoever, therefore this might cause none-conversion or none-interest on search subject click behaviour.
We’ll have to see how Google drop authorship profile photo will effect your site’s traffic and reach from Google’s search result in the near future.