Robert Lee sat down with his parents over dinner at a favorite Chinese restaurant to break the news: He decided to drop out of college after one year at California State University in Fullerton to pursue a career as a professional video game player.
Lee had started to make more than a little money broadcasting his gameplay on Twitch while commuting to school three days a week. He wanted to make that a full-time job.
“The way I saw it, school was always going to be there, but this opportunity to make money playing video games was not always going to be there,” he says.
Almost three years later, Lee is a pro League of Legends player, earning a salary that pays enough to cover rent, clothes, food and a couple luxuries, he says, though he declined to provide a figure. That’s in addition to the millions of dollars in prize money that his team, compLexity, is competing for at tournaments around the world. Read more…
Google dropping Authorship Profile Photos and Circle Counts in SERPS
If you like seeing your face or that of an author you admire in the Google search results you better hurry and do some searches now, because Google is removing the images and the circle count from the search results in the next few days.
It doesn’t mean authorship or a potential author rank is gone though.
Similar click-through rate
Google’s Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller announced on Google+ that Google has reviewed the click through rate on the authorship visibility in the search results and concluded that showing an author’s picture doesn’t add to the click-troughs. Because they want to clean up the SERPS they therefor are removing them.
We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices. As a part of this, we’re simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count. (Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.)
From now on Google will not show images and circle counts anymore, just the name of the author and date of the article.
In the next few days this will be rolled out on all Google SERPS so you probably are not seeing the changes yet.
What is it
Google Authorship has been discussed a lot in the past few years. When it was first rolled out it was unclear how it worked and what the benefit was. Jeroen wrote an extensive post here on State of Digital (then State of Search) explaining what it is and how you can add it to your site.
If you had added it to your site and connected it to your Google+ profile you could see the face of the author show up in the search results:
The benefits of having authorship is evident: it gives more credit to the author and when an author has an higher profile it will add to the credibility of the article.
Now Google is taking away the images and circle count the question will off course rise what the purpose of the authorship really is. If having no image has the same click-through as having an image, does it even matter?
If we look at all the signals it still has impact, just how much is unclear. It is being said that authorship is the setup for authorrank. With authorrank Google would supposedly rank posts from high profile authors better.
Should we because of this change forget about author ship all together? No, far from. The actual principle will stay, it’s just the visual part which changes and Google definitely still seems to have intentions on doing more with it.