Confirmed: Google Reduces Authorship Rich Snippets In Search Results

google-plus-authorship-featuredThe head of search spam at Google, Matt Cutts, has confirmed with us that Google has applied a 15% reduction in the amount of rich snippets displayed in the search results.

Matt Cutts announced at PubCon a couple months ago that this would happen, saying that the ability to have and use rich snippets may be taken away for low quality sites in the coming months. And this has indeed happened. Matt said this would likely reduce authorship by 15% to only show more authoritative authors.

Cyrus Shepard wrote that the MozCast features tool noticed a drop in authorship and webmasters have recently been complaining about their authorship being dropped out.

Here is a screen shot of the drop in authorship being displayed according to MozCast:


Google’s Matt Cutts told us “I can confirm that this change has happened.”

This may or may not be directly related to the blip we saw on December 17th; we have asked Google for further clarification on this.

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Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: Authorship | Google: SEO | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Salwa Iqbal

    i think these updates are not the main issue . google should announce so that people can find a way how to deal with it instead worrying all day why SERP ranking is low . thanks for sharing this update with us.

  • Bryan

    Oh crap, so that’s why mine was gone, even if I never did any changes on my blog’s theme.

  • Bryan

    Oh crap, so that’s why mine was gone, even if I never did any changes on my blog’s theme.

  • Bryan

    Exactly! :D

  • Bryan

    Exactly! :D

  • Matthew Shuey

    This kinda doesn’t make sense. I’m seeing Author pics show up in serps that don’t even have a blog on their website. Just selling services, then seeing authors with blogs not showing an Authorship Snippet. Where’s the quality in that?

  • John Slocum, Vancouver

    As a real estate agent in a mid-to-small geography this has been a total elimination of rich snippets from my site, and from all the other realtors in my area. I doubt there will ever be a way for our sites to have enough “authority” (however that is measured) when compared to national companies like zillow and trulia that are aggressively (and probably robotically) out to dominate every real estate related serp they can. Very frustrating at my end, to be sure!

  • johnterry

    The byline is exactly what I see for my pages now – dien dan rao vat

  • DevRaj

    When i tested using Google Richsnippet tool, it is showing Authorship with the Author Picture. But in search results, it is not showing. What would be the Reason for that.

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