Google Removes Author Stats. Is the Death of Authorship Next?
Last night when I logged into Google Webmaster Tools to see how many millions of impressions my Google authorship articles had received lately, I was in for a big surprise. My stats were gone!
That’s right. Author stats are no longer available at all through Google Webmaster Tools. We used to be able to see the number of impressions, the average search position, and the click-through rate of each of our posts that had Google authorship markup. This useful data gave us yet another tool for measuring which posts were successful and which ones weren’t.
Perhaps the best feature of author stats was that it showed this data for all authorship posts, regardless of the website. So even if you had an authorship post up on a site with no analytics or webmaster access, you could still see the data.
It’s been almost six weeks since author photos were removed from Google. Is this removal of author stats a way of hiding the inevitable decrease in click-through rates our authorship posts have received? Or is this Google’s subtle way of telling us that authorship is dead?
At this point, we don’t know whether or not Google Authorship is dead. Google hasn’t even given an official word on the missing data. Maybe we will all wake up tomorrow with new-and-improved author stats and realize this was all a dream.
In the meantime, there’s no reason to abandon Google Authorship yet. If you have it set up, certainly don’t remove it from your posts. If you are starting a new blog, I still recommend setting it up. Implementation is fairly quick, and using a Google product certainly won't hurt your marketing.
Above all, the most important thing to do is to continue to create content and look for measurable ways to evaluate that content. Google Authorship was just one of many tools. Even if authorship dies a horrible death, content will still remain king.
Unless, of course, Google is attempting to overthrow the king…