Questions  - 
 
Have you ever come across a site-wide Google Authorship penalty?

One thing that really bothers me is that no matter what I do, Google just doesn't like showing author pictures next to my site's (http://techtage.com) results on SERPs. I was curious to know what exactly was causing that. I had a verified email, as well as proper direct (?rel=author) & indirect (rel="author") links to my profile from every post of mine. I also had a public contributor-to link to my site from my Google+ profile.

Before you start writing try a different picture let me tell you that my Google+ profile is not the issue. Author picture shows up for results from my personal site (http://rohitpalit.com), as well as  for a few guest posts that I have written on other sites.

Recently, Liam McCarthy wrote a pretty awesome guest post (http://techtage.com/2013/09/remove-unnatural-links-to-your-site/) on TechTage. The interesting part is that even after four days, his author picture is still not showing up on SERPs. Like me, his authorship works when he writes for other sites, for example the Wow Internet Blog.

So, this rises a very important question. Is there a thing called site-wide Google Authorship penalty?
4
Terry Simmonds's profile photoRick Bucich's profile photoSim64 SEO Services's profile photoJean-Christophe Lavocat's profile photo
81 comments
 
+Rohit Palit there is such site wide authorship penalty exist , you should just wait , when Google Crawl your site and re-index in it's database then it will give your profile in search results, for seeing your profile in search results you must be ware of that Google will take time to reflect things back, its better to ask +Moz CEO +Rand Fishkin 
 
I've already waited months, switched themes, done everything that I could possibly do.

I don't get why you suggested me to ask Rand about it. Is it because you recently came to know about Moz and their CEO and know no one else in the SEO world?
 
+Rohit Palit I used SDTT on your most recent post and it indicates that Authorship is not established for you on that page. You do have a link to your profile but it lacks ?rel=author parameter on the post page and your profile.

Liam's post validates but the author at the top of the page states "Guest Author" to a generic profile which may be confusing matters. 

Suggest
1) Adding the parameter to the links to your profile
2) Establish Liam with a real author profile page with his name hyperlinked to the profile page

Goof luck!

SDTT: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
 
Okay okay folks!

I recently removed authorship for my profile on the blog. It's part of a test that I wanted to conduct to see if removing/re-applying authorship will fix the problem.

+Rick Bucich I'm afraid that's not how it works. Google just takes the first rel=author link and ignores the rest. I've seen more sites with no rel=me's than those with it.

+Terry Simmonds I intentionally did that to prevent duplicate content issues. It didn't work even before I no-indexed it 1.5 months ago.

I'm pretty sure it's a site-specific issue.

Keep the suggestions coming. :)
 
+Rohit Palit It's no good anyone trying to help if you deliberately have things set up wrong, you need to set it all back up right 1st.
 
Asking for help after pulling down Authorship intentionally but not saying anything is a bit of a waste of everyone's time. Fix it and and re-post your question.
 
+Terry Simmonds, +Rick Bucich 

Things aren't delibaretely set up wrong. I've just removed the rel=author meta from my site for my posts, and unlinked my site from my profile's contributor to section. That's all. If they were in place, would it work? That's the question. And I tell you, even if they were in place, it wouldn't work. My point is, even if Matt Cutts writes a guest post on my site, Authorship would technically work, but it won't show up on SERPs.

In my WMT Author Stats, there are several posts from that site, so technically Authorship was working before I pulled down rel=author, but Author pic wasn't showing up on SERPs.

+Durant Imboden I actually read that article soon after it was published, but it doesn't help me. I tried contacting Jon Mueller but he doesn't reply. Google cares very little as well.

This is my site (rohitpalit.com) using the SAME theme, SAME plugin that I use for placing rel=authorship tags, and author pics are showing up on SERPs for its results. So, technically, it's not a design/structural issue. More like a domain-wide ban.

I can't think of not expecting such a basic level of technical competence from people here.
 
+Rohit Palit "Things aren't delibaretely set up wrong. I've just removed the rel=author meta from my site for my posts, and unlinked my site from my profile's contributor to section."

That contradicts itself
Set it all up right 1st
 
Sorry? 'Things' include much more than that the rel-author tag.

Sir, I've reverted the changes for your kind inspection. Please test it with whatever tools you've got now.
 
Google doesn't always go by the 1st Author tag especially if the 2nd author tag is more associated with the website.

Just use 1 Author tag or  set up the Author page on your site so it has an author link back to your profile and isn't noindexed.
 
If your pages check out OK with the Structured Data Testing Tool, then you've done what you can.

That doesn't mean Google will always display your author photo and byline next to your search results.There could be any number of reasons why the photo and byline don't show up:

1) You've put the authorship markup on a page that doesn't meet Google's definition of "authored content." (I saw a great example of this a while back when a hotel megasite slapped authorship markup on its vast numbers of boilerplate booking pages.)

2) The marked-up pages haven't been crawled, indexed, and digested by whatever algorithm controls photo and byline display.

3) Google's acknowledged "authorship bug."

4) Something else. (Put on your tinfoil hat and make your best guess.)

Two more things to remember:

 - Google doesn't guarantee to display an author photo and byline on marked-up pages.

- Like most new Google products, authorship is a work in progress (or a public beta, if you want to be less charitable). Don't expect perfection or predictability.
 
Testing tool says no, not set up properly, end of story
 
+Rick Bucich It doesn't say so. Test again, or it could be caching issue.

+Terry Simmonds Had what you're referring to in my previous theme. It didn't work. Neil Patel's site QuickSprout.com doesn't even have dedicated author pages. Authorship works like a charm there.

+Durant Imboden 

3 and 4 important in this case. Regarding 4, I think it could also be possible if the domain contains content that don't meet Google's authorship guidelines. Like, I've posted a lot of smartphone news articles (short ones with links to sources) back in 2011. They too are marked up with Authorship. Kind of like the Panda-effect for Authorship? Doesn't it sound cool?
 
"doesn't even have dedicated author pages. Authorship works like a charm there."

That's the point I was making - yours does have a dedicated author page, but it is set up wrong.
 
Google doesn't always use the 1st author tag
Especially if the 2nd one is using the name and that person is connected to the site.

Look at this post http://www.sim64.co.uk/blog/google-authorship-test-1709-post-with-2-articles-by-2-different-authors/

Check the SDTT to see which Author it displays (look at the id number rather than name)

Then look in the SERPs and you will see a different Author.

It does this because Google knows there is a strong connection between the 2nd author and the site and also the 2nd author is using a name where as the 1st one isn't.

If Google is using your 2nd author tag instead of the 1st Authorship won't work because the 2nd author isn't set up right.
 
Ohh and the SDTT clearly mentions this:

"Note: The testing tool currently only checks the first rel=author link listed on a webpage for a link to a Google+ profile (https://plus.google.com/103409016903761883197?rel=author). It's possible that authorship may in fact be working for this page because of other rel=author links on the page. To verify that authorship is working on this page, please ensure the first profile listed on the site links to the appropriate Google+ profile."
 
http://techtage.com/author/008Rohit/ is in your other profiles on your about page,

There is a rel=author link to http://techtage.com/author/008Rohit/ from your articles

http://techtage.com/author/008Rohit/ uses your name as the anchor text.

Virtually everything is saying that http://techtage.com/author/008Rohit/ should be the Author and then you go and noindex that page, it's hardly surprising Google is getting confused.

Try taking off the rel=author links to that page, there is no point in them being there if it is noindexed anyway.

Also use you name as a byline pointing to 106669872405859111179
 
It didn't work even before it was no-indexed, and even before I had rel=author links to it.
 
Here are a few reasons why I think that Google is able to detect me as an author but just isn't displaying the rich snippets for my site on SERPs:

1. I see my own site's articles in WMT author stats.
2. https://twitter.com/rohitpalit/status/386179637513961472 and a few random search results often leaking out the author info (including pic) for "no results found, did you mean this... blah blah" results.
3. Same theme, same no-indexed authorpage on RohitPalit.com and it works there.
4. Authorship works for me for other sites with even a single ?rel=author added to the end of my G+ profile URL.
5. Google hasn't been silent about NOT displaying rich snippets for low-quality sites, including ones hit by Panda.

I strongly believe the site is hit by Panda. Why? The oldest posts are almost 3 years old and the domain is only 9 months old. The old domaine expired and I transferred the site to the new one. I was checking the organic traffic stats in Google Analytics for the old domain and it was easy to spot sudden traffic drops on the day or the day after a Panda update was unleashed, both in 2011 and 2012. So, if I get rid of the old domain, the CAUSES of the penalty are still present so I assume the penalty will be transferred to the new domain.
 
OK, yes the SDTT is showing an authorship connection to your content, but that doesn't guarantee it will work for SERPs if there are other issues. I'd be most concerned about the noindex issue +Terry Simmonds brought up.
 
I can probably use ScrapeBox and show you 1000 examples of Authorship working on sites that implement no-index tags for author pages.
 
If that's not it, then I'll admit I'm stumped. And you said you do get author results for posts you do on other sites?
 
Yeah definitely.

Interesting thing is, I've no-indexed around 1000 old posts which weren't that unique (it was a smartphone blog of a 13 yr old after all). Google is pretty slow in removing them from their index but I have a feeling that once the Panda is withdrawn, rich snippets will start showing their faces up for the site. It'd be a great (and unique) case study if I what I'm anticipating turns out to be true.
 
Intriguing +Rohit Palit - Do keep us informed. The only thing that makes me doubt that is that your guest author did show up in SERPs. If your loss of Authorship showing for your site was part of a site-wide penalty, wouldn't it affect all content on your site?
 
+Mark Traphagen Aha nope. Even in case of guest authors (and reputable ones) author information doesn't show up on SERPs. It IS site-wide as of now.

I meant authorship works for me posting in other sites (I've posted guest posts in other sites, have other sites myself, author info shows up for all of them).
 
OK, that does sound like something is wrong sitewide. Not necessarily connected to Panda (could be you're not meeting whatever the ever-tightening Authorship SERP thresholds are), but it will be interesting to see if you get out from under Panda and see it return.
 
+Terry Simmonds you're welcome to do that. maybe then you'll finally admit it's a site-wide issue.

+Mark Traphagen Not sure about that. Got authorship working on my personal site, 2 days from launching it. And it had no links and no form of authority, and same theme as my other blog. Yet that blog, inspite of having a natural link profile and a DA of 37, doesn't meet the Authorship SERP thresholds even after author information is only displayed in posts? (I have seen many sites abuse it by using it on static pages, categories, archives etc.)

Seems a bit weird to me. I'll report back here once the no-indexed pages are removed from Google's index.
 
+Rohit Palit " you're welcome to do that. maybe then you'll finally admit it's a site-wide issue."

I never said it wasn't, but if you set up a site deliberately wrong, don't do anything suggested and then say Authorship isn't working, there is nothing else anyone can do.
 
And here you go again... Authorship isn't setup wrong. I wrote 4 long points above explaining why.
 
+Mark Traphagen 
Bio page nonindexed, multiple authorship tags on pages, a link from Other Profiles to a no-index page, the test page he asked us to look at http://techtage.com/2013/09/remove-unnatural-links-to-your-site/
has 1st authorship pointing to http://techtage.com/author/guest-author/
Author link in head being overwritten by author tag using name, bio page looping, etc.

There are so many reasons Authorship isn't displaying at the moment, but he seems reluctant to set a page up with just basic Authorship to test it 1st.

I can show you lots of pages where having 2 authors on a page stops Authorship displaying even though the SDTT shows it as working.

It may be a site wide penalty, but I just can't understand why he won't set a page up with just 1 author tag to test things.
 
+Rohit Palit that's quite a mess. If that's all true, why won't you set up a clean author page as +Terry Simmonds describes to test his idea?

It's very true that even though the SDTT may show correct author verification, that doesn't guarantee that it will show in the SERPs. If you throw too many confusing connections at Google, it won't for sure.
 
Okay, I will, soon and let you know.
 
Same theme , different set up.
You can't compare with other sites, you need to set up basic Authorship on a Page and not mess Google around by having multiple Author tags and noindexed bio pages, it's no wonder Google is getting confused.
 
That's curious +Terry Simmonds because at SMX East a few weeks ago, Google's +Pierre Far recommended that if a piece of content had more than one author, you should markup all the authors, even though Google right now would only attribute to the first one.

He seemed to be hinting that doing so was future-proofing your content for the day when Google eventually gets around to figuring out multi-author attribution. 

Strange that he would recommend a practice that could break your authorship.
 
+Mark Traphagen Yes, I was just pointing out that any minor changes can effect Authorship in different ways.

You say "Google right now would only attribute to the first one."

Take a look at this test - http://www.sim64.co.uk/author-test/20.php

Without looking, who do you think should get Authorship T Simmonds or Terry Simmonds?

Check the Page in the SDTT, then check it in the SERPS.
 
Yes, which is exactly why Rohit needs to set up pages with just one Author.

The Author Tag using his name is pointing to a noindexed bio page, this could easily be over-riding the 1st author tag in the head, but because the bio page is no indexed it could be breaking Authorship
 
First authorship tag is the one in <head>
 
Yes, but as my demonstration shows, Google sometimes jumps the 1st Author tag, especially when the 2nd one is using a proper name.
 
My personal site too links to a no-indexed author page. What about that?
 
As I've said before, you can't compare with another site as the set up is different and there could be countless reasons why Google treats them differently.

Why are you so against just setting up a test page?
 
I'm not against it. I will, in fact.

How exactly are the setups different?
 
You have a link to the bio page of techtage from Other Profiles on your about page on your Google+ Profile

You don't have a link to your bio page on your personal site from Other Profiles.

There will be lots of small differences between the 2 sites too, as it is virtually impossible to have 2 sites set up exactly the same.
 
Okay, fine. I'll test with a simple semi-blank HTML page tomorrow.
 
Set up 3 or 4

1 - with a direct link to your Google+ Profile using your name as anchor text.

2 - with a link to your bio page using your name as anchor text.

3 - with a direct link to your Google+ Profile but no mention of your name.

4 - with a link to your bio page but no mention of your name.

Point some links at them and add a unique phrase on each page to make it easier to find them in the SERPs

Then be patient, sometimes pages appear with no Authorship but it appears later.
 
(Note: posting from Page)

Bio page = your Author page on your sites.
 
You still have the link to your BIO page in the other profiles section and then noindexing the bio page.

You are telling Google Rohit Palit is the Author, but then telling Google to noindex the Rohit Palit page.

Try a page with a different Author and see if that makes any difference.

edit: I meant other Profiles section, remove that link.
 
Done. But, those two .html pages don't even link to the no-indexed author page.
 
+Rohit Palit I notice you have a forum on the site, was it quite a big part of the site at one time?

There are quite a few people who say that Google have removed authorship from forum sites, I'll try and find some posts about it for you. 
 
+Rohit Palit Quite a few people were saying forums have had authorship removed, others were saying forums are still OK.

Personally, I have seen at least 4 forums which initially displayed authorship have it suddenly stop appearing.

Did it ever return for you +Steve Richardson ?
 
But I'm not even trying to use Authorship on the forums? Or, do you mean forums GET authorship to not work for their non-forum counterparts?
 
+Steve Richardson Did authorship disappear from all of your site or just the forums section? (or is it all just a forum on there)
 
I think he means it's just for forum threads. I'd be curious to know, though.
 
I would hazard a guess that if your site was 95% forum Google would recognise this and possibly effect the whole site.
All guess work though
 
Right now it's more like 10-20% forum.
 
Hiya +Terry Simmonds nope, disappeared never to return! Site is purely a vB forum. But, we are playing around with writing a bespoke forum, making it more article with comments style, and building that into the directory (that still supports authorship.. for now..)

All drawing board stuff, but hoping to get it live by the New Year, so shall let you know what happens. I think by early next year the rules will get tougher for current authorship, so hoping the article approach with assigned authorship, then follow up comments (bit like here) will do the job. But the authorship is a nice to have, and not a driver for us rebuilding the forum. Just need a replacement for an aging vB 3.7 and can't find anything off the shelf I like.
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