These days, a brand is more recognizable than the face behind it. As such, we’ve received inquiries about changing authorship markups to display a symbol as opposed to a face. An authorship markup is the small picture that appears next to a Google search result. Google authorship markups are not bestowed arbitrarily; they only appear if the article’s author has a Google+ page and a means of verifying authorship, such as a biography page.
Google’s algorithms do not like authorship markups that are not recognizable faces. As such, arrows pointing towards the search result or pictures of your dog simply will not do. Google will take down any picture that is not immediately recognizable as a face. A picture of you running might not be the best because it features your whole body more so than your face.
Even if your authorship markup is Google approved, your work is not yet over. Essentially, not all authorship markups were created equally. A casual “selfie” will not garner as many clicks as a well composed headshot. The best authorship markups are those that feature a face against a monochrome background. Conversely, a person in a recognizable context, such as walking along the street, will likely not fare as well.
Yet still, limiting authorship markups to headshots seems a little behind the times in a logo driven world. Rumors of brand markups catching up to authorship markups are abuzz in the social media world. At the moment, a brand logo can be attached to search results, but only for queries requesting the brand page itself. As it stands, the brand logo cannot be pinned to any piece of related content the way an authorship markup can. Until then, the best you can do is to sacrifice a goat to the Google Gods and pray for rain.
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