Google's own authorship program is the latest technique that has been targeted by Google's Webspam team. The Webspam team is devoted to ensuring that their search engine results pages return the best results possible. This includes removing spam or low-quality results.
The value of Google authorship
Google authorship was created with the intent of authors being able to establish their credibility and expertise on a particular subject. Google shows the author's image in the search engine results and links together all of the articles indexed from that author. A side effect of the authorship program was a boost in search engine optimization (SEO) results, which, along with many other tactics, have now been downgraded in value by the Webspam team.
What is Google authorship?
Before we go any further, let's explain what Google Authorship is. It is a program developed several years ago and then enhanced with Google Plus. Authors can link their blogs and blogger profiles together to establish ownership of their work and also create their reputation for being an expert in their field. The author also establishes his or her profile and contact information through the authorship program, which now also acts as a Google Plus and Google profile. In theory, articles written by authors who have already been established as an authority or expert on certain topics would carry more weight in the Google algorithm and rank higher. The head shot image next to the search engine results also helps increase clicks since it grabs the attention of Google's users.
Why was Google authorship downgraded?
Just like links and low-quality pages, Google authorship was downgraded in the last few months because users flooded and abused the system. Many "writers" established themselves as authors and registered for authorship in an effort to help boost their search engine ranking and create links to their website or blog. The problem with this is that these writers were just producing content for the sole purpose of creating an inbound link to their own site and the content they produced was very low quality. Guest blogging is not dead; the field has been refined with a little help from Google.
The Moral of the Story
If you are writing to establish yourself as a subject matter expert, Google will recognize you for that. If you are writing articles and blog posts filled with low-quality content that does not even make sense grammatically, then you will be penalized for trying to game the system. Google is interested in providing their users with high-quality links and a search experience that allows them to easily find the information they are looking for. If you are in line with Google's goals and you continue to educate your readers and provide insight into your field, that is what authorship was created for and you will benefit from Google's program.
Google authorship is a great way to increase your professional success and you should leverage it for your business as much as possible and in the most effective and appropriate manner possible.