R.I.P. Google Authorship

Google discontinues authorship projectGoogle is all about change. Its search algorithms change hundreds of times each year, but it’s not every day that it makes a major adjustment—at least not like this one. After three years, the search giant has recently announced that its Google Authorship project is no more.

Wait, What Is Google Authorship?

Google developed its authorship project as a means of “rewarding” users whose content was linked to a verifiable, digital signature – in this case, a Google+ profile. The reward for authors was greater visibility and ranking on search engine results pages, while users benefited from links to content created by authors deemed trustworthy and authoritative. Knowing this, you can see why we’ve always placed so much emphasis on maintaining a Google+ profile for dentists. Without it, there was no way to give your website and content credit where credit was due; anonymity and irrelevance went hand in hand where authorship is concerned.

How Will This Affect Search Marketing for Dentists?

There’s a lot of confusion about how this news will affect your dental search marketing strategy and result. Here’s an overview.

What it doesn’t do:

According to John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, removing authorship will not have an adverse impact on site traffic, nor will it increase the number of clicks on advertisements – two of the things authorship was originally intended to do. And it doesn’t mean that the time and effort you’ve spent cultivating your Google+ presence has all been in vain; any posts you’ve made will continue to show up in search results as long as they’re relevant.

What it does:

The good news is that we can learn from the project’s weaknesses. For one thing, Google cited incompatibility with mobile searches as one of the primary reasons to end authorship markups, a major concern given the increasing popularity of searches performed on smartphones and tablets. On a smaller screen, every pixel counts; author photos and details took up precious real estate on these devices. If you don’t have a responsive website and a mobile-friendly dental website, now’s a good time to start.

Takeaway: If Google believes in the power of mobile search and responsive websites, you should, too.

The concept of authorship itself is sound. When a would-be patient needs information about dental implants, it only makes sense that he’d benefit most from content provided by an expert in the matter—you, that is. Moving forward, the importance of keyword-rich, original content will become even more of an essential part of your dental content marketing and blogging. We can help you with that, by the way.

Takeaway: Great content will always speak to authority and expertise.