Google Authorship–Business As Usual
Google once again put the squeeze on its own authorship program recently by removing authorship images and, in most cases, authorship information all together, from its search results. So once again we find Google Authorship under attack.
What are we to think of this? Well, for Google it seems to be business as usual and business by the book. With this move the Google think tank is clearly defining its future priorities.
If you look up the Wikipedia definition of Google it starts out with “Google is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products. These include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, and software.”
Google Priority Mail
Notice that they list online advertising technologies first, then search as second, followed by cloud computing and finally software. That is how it is at Google and how it will remain with their number one priority being ONLINE ADVERTISING.
I recently went to Google.com and put the word “Blowfish” in the search field. It returned me a list of “about 2,380,000 results”. I then searched on “Catching Blowfish” and got 3,240 results.
On both searches, what I actually got was a list on the left half of my screen that showed me websites I could go to about the subject I had inquired. On the right half of my screen there were four advertisements that may or may not have been about blowfish.
These ads on the right half are paid advertisement, and it is what pays for Google. Each ad had the hopes that I would abandon my search for catching Blowfish and click on their ad so they could show me what they are selling.
Ads Make Sense
But I was being stubborn, so I looked at the left half of my monitor where the actual search results were. Of course, they did not cram all 3,240 results (nor the 2.3 million) on one page. There were four or five to choose from and a thing to click on to go to the next page.
Of course, if I was the recent author of a story about catching Blowfish, I would not only want my story in the list, but I would also want it on the first page, or at least as close to the front as possible.
But looking further, each of the four or five snippets per page was just a few lines from the actual website with no information about who wrote it, and no graphics (pictures).
Not long ago, when one did these searches one actually saw the author information in the search results, but, in addition, some clever authors had figured out a way to get the search results to include thumbnail pictures from their website. Perhaps a picture of a Blowfish?
Google Serving The Advertiser
But back when the authorship information was shown, the results took up the left two-thirds of the screen, and the ads were relegated to the right side but only about one-third of the screen. So we know what happened.
With pressure from the advertisers, Google had to give them more space on the screen, and also, some of the advertisers did not like those fancy graphics from the search results competing with their own expensive in-ad picture placements.
I then Tried This For The Sake Of Trying
Then I tried something different. I signed into my Google+ account. I had recently read an article that told me that if I was logged in, and did the search, I would still see the authorship information in the search results.
When I looked though, I got virtually the same results. Originally I thought perhaps Google had purposefully left the authorship turned on if logged in as a way to tout the advantages of using Google+, but with today’s exercise I now understand that Google figured out this error and corrected it.
What should we expect in the future? Advertising drives the internet. Especially sites like Google. I think it is only reasonable to expect more of the same. Google and businesses like them will continue to squeeze the members as long as that improves their relationship with the people paying the bills.
It can not go any other way.
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