Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Authorship Brownouts Due to “FaceRank”?
Several months ago my author photo stopped showing on my articles in the Google search results. I double checked all of my settings several times and they appeared correct. I didn’t really have time to fool with it until the end of last month when I reached out to Matt McGee, AJ Kohn and Aaron Weiche for guidance. The bottom line? Google Authorship apparently has some sort of face recognition filter (or as Aaron Weiche called it: FaceRank) that pulls down images it doesn’t like.
Who would have guessed? Here is the email thread between us:
You’re probably not doing anything wrong. I’ve had a number of folks getting Authorship brownouts lately. I’m trying to follow-up with the team to see if there’s a bug in the presentation layer (which has happened repeatedly).
It could be the face recognition if you’re not getting Authorship on any of your posts. In all, the mark-up is very brittle right now as Google tries to find more and more ways to extend Authorship (aka – indirect Authorship) while preserving accuracy.
1) Google doesn’t like your profile photo anymore.
2) Google is just being its normal wishy-washy self about authorship.
Go in to Google+ and change your profile photo to something that shows you facing forward (like a mugshot) and maybe even in color. If it likes your new image better, you should see it start to show in search results again almost immediately, but not as comprehensively as before (at first).
I lost authorship a couple months ago when Google suddenly decided it didn’t like my half-face avatar in its search results. Ergo I know have the boring full-face on Google+.
If changing your photo doesn’t work, this is just Google being wishy-washy. It’s pretty common for authorship to come and go in my experience,
Seriously? We now have to think about “Face Rank”!!!??!
I switched to a color full frontal image. Maybe just act of switching toggles their collective conscious. Will let you know.
Agreed. Poking the bear to make it stir and reevaluate is always a good idea in these instances.
The change from my beloved B & W photo to a color one has made the difference. Matt (as usual) seems to have identified what the issue was… a photo that the software didn’t like
OK. McGee nailed it. I changed out my photo several times over the past week with frontal color photos & all was good for a number of days. Changed it yesterday afternoon (4/11) to my b & w, slightly side view photo and poof its gone as of this morning.
Update April 12 10:00 pm
I replaced the B&W photo at about 9:00 am this morning with my color profile photo and it is now showing 12 hours later.
Google was kind enough to notify me that I had qualified with my B & W photo last fall. But they did not have the courtesy of doing so when they suddenly stopped showing my photo. What SMB has time for these sort of
horse crap er, outcomes? In fact what normal webmaster does?