Google have announced that they are going to be removing the author images that show alongside websites that have claimed their authorshop via Google+.
(In other words, they are taking down the selfies next to certain website listings in Google)
So what is the reason for this?
Why did Google decide to take away the happy smiling selfies down?
The following quote from Google gives their reason for it, but I am not so sure if I believe their claims or not…
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
So why don’t I believe what they are saying?
Well, I am so used to Google saying one thing and doing or meaning another that I take practically everything they say with a pinch of salt. (Being active in the SEO community makes me a natural enemy to Google, too)
So what do I think?
The thing is, everybody knows that having your picture appear next to your website’s listing will increase your click through rate.
And what does that mean?
It means that more people will be clicking the organic listing as opposed to the paid listings.
Do you see where I am going with this?
This change means that our eyes are going to be less drawn to the organic listings because there won’t be any pictures there.
As a result, more of us will click on the paid listings, Google will make more money, and Google really like money.
What do you think?
I could be wrong. But taking one of Google’s changes and putting a conspiracy theory spin to it is something I like to do in my spare time.