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Been thinking a lot about authorship of late and was curious if anyone had done any proper testing around impact?

My theory (based largely on my own experience) is that it will indeed make me more likely to click if I'm familiar but if it's an industry I know nothing about it seems cheese/looks a bit tacky to me. My suspicion would be that it has a negative CTR for people not familiar with the authorities in an industry/topic but was curious what others thought/whether anyone might be able to comment?

+James Carson - would be particularly interested in hearing your thoughts and whether you see a difference depending on who is the author/publisher and have anything beyond the anecdotal that you'd be able to share?
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James Carson's profile photoSamuel Crocker's profile photoIan Bowden's profile photoPaul Gailey Alburquerque's profile photo
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Cheers fella... still a bit anecdotal but very interesting and does seem to echo my thoughts. Sometimes an image of the subject seems MUCH more relevant than an image of the author (i.e. recipes) but it will be interesting to see how much of this falls within the "rules" of how the mark-up was meant to be used and how Google treats all this.
 
it emphasises celebrity (ie the cook rather than the pie) -although you can overcome that with a video thumbnail snippet - I can't see how Authorship is in any way detrimental to CTR. take a peek at the tech gadget SERPs. Who would win your click of this? https://www.google.co.uk/search?pws=0&q=new+samsung+android Hands down the good picture of the journo over a indirect gaze or product smudge.
 
I don't know to be honest would really depend what I was looking for - i.e. I know a journo isn't going to have the new android for sale in which case I'd probably go for the smudge, but also would be attracted to the play.com listing due to the review (stars) if I was looking for a review. Really difficult landscape especially with the mix of authorship, reviews, news, product feeds... at least there's something for everyone though.

"When all else fails on a somewhat generic query: just serve one of each" seems to be the approach taken here.
 
I guess to your point on celebrity though it also depends on the query and my familairity with the market. In that particular one I don't recognise anyone so I'd go for the source I trusted most and therefore would not have been attracted by the author's image neccessarily. I can tell you I would be quite unlikely (personally) to click the technolog link though as I'm unfamiliar with both the site and the "author"
 
Sure did, doesn't really answer my question though unfortunately...
 
It's difficult to get anything with CTR stats... I'm not really sure of anywhere where it would have negative impact (although i'm not 100% and have no studies). I think it adds personality to the article - useful anywhere really.

Moreover, I'm not entirely bothered about the CTRs currently. I'm more concerned with the authors building up a social footprint, and i think this method enhances that process because people can access them directly via search.
 
Fair points all around! I guess my thinking was less for proper publishers (like yourselves) and more around the folks that are adopting it for "how-to" articles and so forth. I guess that's the only space I've come across it really and been properly turned off against clicking a result.

From a potential authority metric (author rank or by any other name) though it does make sense to get them involved early and will probably be more important that CTR in the long run.
 
Yeah that's tricky... it depends how much the searcher really knows about the whole scheme also - most people would probably find it more interesting. If the profile is well filled out and it looks like it's legitimate, then all the better i say.
 
Indeed, certainly interesting times ahead. Very much appreciate you taking a second to opine.
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