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Its been 60 days since my test site started showing Authorship on their search results, so lets answer the question - what effect does Authorship have on their traffic? Now if you missed my earlier article on Authorship, or what could possibly go wrong with Authorship, catch those up for the full picture.

Authorship query resultEffect of Authorship on Search Results - The Verdict!

By:

Its been 60 days since my test site started showing Authorship on their search results, so lets answer the question - what effect does Authorship have on their traffic? Now if you missed my earlier article on Authorship, or what could possibly go wrong with Authorship, catch those up for the full picture.

The result is really quite astonishing. A 300% increase in queries and a 100% increase in traffic:

authorship results

This increase in traffic came from 2 sources:

  1. Extra traffic from the same search results;
  2. More search results returned.

You will notice missing from the list is - "more results from higher search placement." There was no useable increase in search position across the 150 pages in the test sample. What did that mean? Well some pages that were out of sight in the SERPS did make an appearance in the top 100 results, but not so much further forward that they returned any significant traffic. Results that were already above the fold on the front page did not move. So it is fair to say from our sample of 150 pages that having Authorship will add to your relevancy score so cause a small movement forward, but this has no effect once you get toward the front of the results.

However Authorship encouraged Google to list the same 150 pages against more search terms - to crawl deeper into the page. Here is the graph of "index status" for the same period:

 indexingI have indicated the point at which I added Authorship to the site, then there is a second spike when I changed the site design and added ratings schema to the site. 

Ratings schema is my current test, the results of which will be right here in insights shortly.

The massive increase in indexing did not cause a massive increase in traffic. This is simply because the terms indexed were much more marginal terms, and our result did not appear above the fold on the first page for those new searches.

Nonetheless about half the increase in traffic came from the new search terms.

The other half came from an increase in the number of clicks off the same search listing. So a page that was constantly at position 2 (behind Wikipedia) stayed there after Authorship. However the click-through rate increased by 75%. The best increases in click-throughs came from the results that were above the fold on the front page. Having an Authorship markup on a result that was a few pages back did not produce a large click increase, and pages that were further back again did not change at all.

This may be a statistical error caused by a small number of actual searches, or it may just be that the sort of searcher that drills down 5+ pages is looking for something very specific and Authorship markup doesnt affect their behaviour.

So with Panda 2.0 Google have increased the weight they give to the "authority" of the website, or the Author. So they are holding course on Authorship as a way of establishing authority on a topic - which pages can be trusted to be useful. 

So if you would like to use Authorship to grow your traffic contact me now. Cheers!

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