Google Announces They Dropped Rich Snippet Author Images from SERPS
If you go to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool and add your sites, you will still see a preview of your profile photo but in the search pages we will no longer see our photos pop up.
Google also dropped our circle counts. This is not just for real estate agents but for every search except we have seen some news media sources still having their logo showing up.
John Mueller from Google said they did some “experimenting” and “discovered” there was no difference in CTR. Hmmm, that is not what they said before:). Even in the webmasters tools section Google was promoting everyone to do their authorships stating that you would get better CTR.
Well, of course, you are going to get more clicks on search results with visual images than just text entries. Google is saying that this is being done to make the mobile search experience appear smoother. But then they have said things before that were not really true, so who knows!
The chatter in the SEO forums and Google + communities is that all of our author images were distracting people from clicking on the ads, the pay per click ads. Some say big brands are complaining their CTR is dropping because searchers are clicking on images of people in organic listings. That does make a lot of sense although it is speculation.
Whatever their real reasoning is, it is what it is.
One more reason to understand that internet marketing is constantly changing and we should not ever rely on any one source for all your traffic, clicks or contacts.