John Mueller has recently announced that on Google+ the author profile images will all be ceased. The images will neither be visible in desktop nor in mobile search results. Within few days, Google is going to implement this idea so that there is no visibility of images.
Mueller has remarked, “We have been engrossed in different research so that the visual design can be cleaned out from search results. This is done so that better mobile experience can be offered.” He also says, “Implementing such an idea can ensure consistency in design in all types of devices.”
Google is showing tremendous interest on simplifying authorship that is being shown in mobile as well as desktop search results. It is found that photos do not add any informational value in regard to search results. Though photo identification can certainly attract attention of people in results and can easily take customers to any blog articles. There are some cases where the searchers only look for blog article and do not search for product page.
Reasons to remove images
Google has justified that the main reason behind removing images from search results is to improve the clicks through rates (CTR). Taking the view of leading SEO consultant, Kristine Schachinger he completely disagrees with this idea of Mueller. She commented, “I have intentionally lost image 3 times from search results and every time it drops down to 25% approximately.”
Previously it was identified that there are around 1 million impressions and around 110,000 CTR on a higher average of around 3 months. The test finally shows a huge drop which is not convincing for Kristine. An illustration is given by Kristine regarding the consequences when author images have been removed from Google:
While it is found that when it comes to eye-tracking tests and usability aspects, images in search results can certainly enhance CTR and also it is the best way through which user’s attention can be attracted. Mueller has remarked that Google has done a good amount of research that reflects click through behavior in less cluttered design is similar to that of the previous one.
There are few of the possible explanations found in this regard:
- Mueller is specific about aggregate data that comes from Authorship results through different queries. In such a situation it is quite possible to boost up CTR that can be found in limited amount of tests.
- Mueller did not pinpoint to only CTR for Authorship results. He spoke about the comparison that has occurred in case of CTR behavior on a new less cluttered design compared to previous one. Therefore, it is quite possible that he is referring to the complete CTR data that occurs in two different samples.
- It is found that CTR results can be comparatively lower on the mobile results. The results will be different if tester is looking into desktop and mobile. Desktop and mobile combined CTR figures founded by Mueller which has beenreferred.
Adoption related to Google authorship is quite strong for writers, but it is low among top reputed brands. It was reported in January that around 20-40% authorship images have been removed from search results to highlight top quality writers.