Google authorship is steadily gaining ground. If you haven’t heard of it before it’s the little face shots that you see of people next to links after performing a search. Hopefully by now you have noticed at least a few author faces. They are pretty hard to miss.
Some people say it helps increase click through rate, and others disagree or are not completely convinced anyway. I believe that they do help draw attention. Whether someone will click on a particular link just because of an author image is definitely debatable.
Besides your image a good title and description will help, and if it appears on page one in position one to five you will obviously see a better click through rate. Nothing new there, it’s always been that way. The first couple of results always get more traffic than the ones further down the page.
What I am thinking is that if you have thought about setting up Google authorship, but just never got around to it you really should sooner than later.
This is what aGoogle authorship image looks like in search results:
As of right now there are still a lot of searches with very few author images that appear. If Google continues this for years to come, which is fairly likely the search results may eventually become saturated with author images. If that happens it will be much more competitive and difficult to draw attention.
So if there are only a few images that appear it is possible that people will be drawn to your image and link more. Down the road if all or nearly all the results on page one have an author image they won’t be so attracted to yours if you’re not in the top five positions.
If search results eventually become filled with author images, then I think most people will take the first couple of results no matter how attractive, descriptive, or catchy yours happens to be.
So if you get in on it now there is a possibility that you can draw people into your site/link a little easier than a few years down the road. This assuming it continues to gain ground, and they don’t change it too much.
On top of that there is the author rank rumor that has been floating around for a while now. Some suggest that if your articles and posts are attached to your Google Plus/Authorship it could build authority and trust, which Google may use towards search rankings.
One of the drawbacks of using it is you are forced to have a Google Plus account. Maybe that isn’t a problem for you or most people. Even though I like seeing my image in search results I don’t like being forced into something, but that’s the way it works. I have a feeling it’s about increasing Google Plus popularity and the number of users more than anything, but it’s pushed as an added perk for the writer of an article.