Insight & expertise

Be an Author through Google

By Unknown, blog post 13/07/2012

One of the things we’ve being banging on about for weeks is the introduction of author thumbnails appearing in the search results and how they can make you stand out from the crowd.

What is interesting since their addition, is the amount of people struggling to understand exactly what restrictions are in place that may prevent your picture being shown.

An interesting article on SEOmoz had recently tried to illuminate this for us.

After countless in-depth experiments, the author of the article concluded that the factors involved in author photos are numerous, unspecific and even slightly buggy; that all of these may or may not cause your photo to disappear beside your search results link.

For example, using HTML4 instead of HTML5 should not cause it to fail, but it might. Similarly, usingrel=author instead of ?rel=author shouldn’t make it fail either.

What might cause it to fail is using low quality pictures, images of multiple people or images without people in them at all. Even then though, there are examples where they do appear.

One clear no-no is having multiple verified authors listed on the page.

While the restrictions are worked out, our advice is to play around with what works. As with all things, using it for its correct purpose with a clear, obvious shot of the author is almost certainly the best way to guarantee your photo will appear.

Mozscape Crawling 50% Less URLs


Citing problems with their hosting service from Amazon, SEOmoz reported in their latest Mozscape update that they had only crawled around 50% of last month’s total URLs (78 billion compared to 165 billion).

It appears they have restricted this in a Google-style manner of targeting the more popular, more frequently visited pages.

In fact, many sites with very low traffic and content activity have been missed off entirely.

Now the only way we can anticipate this affecting your reports is the visible link counts you see in relation to a site crawl might be vastly lower. This isn’t to say they aren’t there, just that the amount of connections the tool can crawl has dropped.

Rand has said that they are looking to move to a new cloud based data hosting server soon, so we can expect these URL numbers to go back to normal in a couple of months.

Possible Devaluation of Infographic Links


A recent interview with Matt Cutts from Google highlighted a possible future concern for many supporters of infographics. Cutts mentioned that links embedded and generated through infographics may be devalued.

Why? Well, Google are slightly uneasy about the way links are embedded into infographics.

People often do not realise that when they share the infographic, they may be sharing a link to an unrelated site, which in Google’s eyes is definite cause for concern.

Furthermore, many of the infographics out there are often misleading and factually incorrect. Because of this, the search weight given to them isn’t relative to the value they provide to the community.

It’s a hint from Cutts as opposed to a definitive action plan, but it’s more than likely that at some point in the future, Google will take a stand on infographics.