On June 25th, Google announced that it would be removing the small little profile pictures that appeared in the search results and that were the result of Google Authorship. This was obviously a hard pill to swallow for a lot of local and small businesses. We work with quite a few attorneys, for example, and we understand how important it was to them to have that branded thumbnail image – at least it was for those who had Google authorship profile pics in place.
But now that Google Authorship is gone, what can do you now to gain a competitive edge in Google search and stand out definitively from everyone else in the search results?
The solution is video authorship.
Here’s an example of what video authorship is:
Notice the thumbnail image that appears in the top search result in Google. This is one of our clients who’s a brain injury attorney in Atlanta. This is what it looks like when video authorship is integrated properly into a website.
Video authorship leverages video, obviously, but it also is a function of integrated video into a webpage through the use of Schema language – a standard protocol that Google, Yahoo, & Bing adopted back in 2011 in order to diversify their search results with rich media (images, profile pictures, etc…).
You’ll notice, the picture above, the attorneys who are ranked #2 and #3. These attorneys actually had small profile pictures associated with Google authorship. But since June 25th, their profile pictures have since disappeared.
I actually saved a screenshot of the search results for an earlier blog post I did, and you can see what the search results looked like when Google authorship was still accepted.
Here it is:
What to do now that Google authorship is gone?
So now, the only way to achieve any form of branded exposure in Google is through the use of video authorship.
But I see this as a more advantageous method because a video thumbnail image is about 3 – 4 times larger than the profile pictures.
And also, the video thumbnail image is 100% customizable – meaning, you can make the image appear however you’d like. Some of our clients want just their logo to appear, while others prefer a combination of their names and their profile pictures.
Here are a few examples showing the various customized thumbnail images we’ve put together for our clients:
And this is why, I believe, video authorship is the best alternative option to take since Google removed the profile pictures from their search results.