In January I discovered my Google Authorship photo disappeared from my blog posts in search engine results. My byline appeared but the photo had vanished. After my initial shock, I dug in and figured out how to get my photo back.
The journey turned out to be better than I expected. Through the process I increased my commitment to my blog and received fantastic support from my social community. So if you’ve lost your Authorship photo, read on to learn one solution that may help you get it back. You may even improve your perspective along the way.
The Steps I Took to Get My Google Authorship Photo Back
First I checked the settings for the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin that was used on my website. At the time, rel=”author” was set up on all of my website pages. This caused Authorship to appear on web pages that weren’t written by one designated author.
This violated Google’s Authorship guidelines which state, “The URL/page (should) consist primarily of content written by the author.” Sure enough, when I searched on Google my photo appeared next to every one of my web pages.
To remove this violation, in the Titles & Metas section of my settings, next to Authorship, I checked the Don’t Show rel=”author” box under Pages. This eliminated Authorship mark from all of my web pages.
Well, my photo disappeared from my web pages listed in search engine results. But Google was not as quick to restore my photo next to my blog posts. This baffled me because when some people changed these settings, their photo quickly reappeared.
This led me to another theory. Perhaps my photo disappeared because the authority of my blog domain was weak. So I committed to increasing my publishing schedule. Low and behold, after I published a couple of blog posts, I noticed my photo appeared next to the new posts in search engine results. About a week later my photo was restored to all of my posts.
Mark Traphagen gave me some insight I didn’t realize at the beginning of this journey. Google had to revisit my site before the search giant would consider lifting my penalty. My new posts enticed the search spiders to return to my blog, and once they returned my penalty was lifted. So my domain authority wasn’t the reason my photo disappeared but I had to publish more posts to get Google’s attention.
Silver Lining to Getting My Authorship Photo Back
Did you ever dread embarking on a journey but the experience turned out to be rewarding? That’s exactly what happened to me on this project. Turning around the Google penalty was daunting in the beginning. However, I changed my priorities and my schedule to make more room for writing blog posts. As a result, my publishing schedule doubled and I’m getting more traffic from Google’s search engine.
I reached out to my social network and found some fantastic support I’d like to share with you. If this article doesn’t help you restore your Authorship photo, check out these resources:
- Google Authorship & Author Rank Community – This Google+ community was created by Mark Traphagen and is moderated by a group of SEO superstars. The community offers plenty of resources that will help you set up Authorship and troubleshoot any problems you may have with the tool. Folks in the community are very responsive to questions posted by members.
- rel=”author” frequently asked (advanced) questions – This blog post from Google lists guidelines you should follow to increase the likelihood that authorship will be shown in search engine results.
- Google Plus Authorship: One Critical Thing You Need to Know – This article by Samuel Scott tipped me off to the problems with my Yoast SEO Plugin settings.
- Open Q&A on Authorship / AuthorRank – In this lively discussion, Eric Enge and Mark Traphagen talk about the future of AuthorRank and answer questions people have about Authorship. They have a knack of breaking down these ambiguous topics so they are much easier to understand.
If you lost your photo and you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin for your WordPress blog, review your settings. Check the box next to Don’t show rel=author for your Pages. Then publish some blog posts. This easy solution may restore your Authorship photo. If that doesn’t work, consult the resources I listed. Remain positive because you never know what gems you may discover along the journey.
Have you found a resource that helped you resolve issues you had with Authorship? Leave it in a comment and I’ll add it to the resource list along with recognition for your contribution.
Camera photo compliments of Nicola Perantoni.