No More Faces in Organic Google SERPs is New Change to G+ Authorship

Google_Plus_Blog

Just a few weeks ago, we published our findings on the latest Google Panda search update. Now, Google is changing a key element of search results related to Google authorship, turning some headshot smiles into frowns of frustration.

Over the past two years, we at LexBlog, have enthusiastically shared with you the perks of getting Google+ (both via this Please Advise blog and Kevin O’Keefe) as a legal publisher. One particular benefit we emphasized was having your headshot appear in search results for your blog posts as a result of Google authorship markup, like this:

screenshot of old SERP search result of blog post

On June 25, Google announced it was changing the way search results appeared. The most notable change was no longer showing author photos adjacent to posts. The new results now look like this:

screenshot of new SERP search result for blog post

According to Google, authorship still exists, but instead of the previous headshots, posts will instead feature “bylines” with your name and published date.

You can still take advantage of Google authorship (and network through Google plus) by performing the necessary steps to set up and maintain your Google plus profile. At this time, we have no changes to report to the required setup or maintenance for you, though will update steps (in Reach) for clients as necessary.

The Panda update as well as this G+ / authorship update both relate to services provided by Google at no cost to users. Still, it is no surprise that this change is an upset to so many who fear decreased clicks from search result pages, like Real Estate Attorney & Legal Blogger, Richard Vetstein:


Perhaps anticipating this reaction from users, in the announcement, John Mueller of Google stated:

Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.

What do you think? Do you anticipate a change in click-through rates (or have you already seen one)?

What Google+, Authorship, or search-related questions or ideas do you have? Share your thoughts in the LexBlog client community, Reach.

Headline image modified (white space added on either side). Original G+ photo courtesy of Flickr user Bruce Clay, Inc.

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What Legal Blog Publishers Need to Know About Google’s Recent Panda 4.0 Update

photo of young panda climbing a tree

As we do with any major change in search engine technology, we at LexBlog recently revisited our SEO best practice information for blog publishers on behalf of our clients following Google’s recent (5/20/2014) algorithm update (“Panda 4.0″).

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Reach-ing Out to You

A new welcome on your LexBlog Dashboard was installed last week. We know our busy clients are inundated with emails, briefs, clients, calls AND blogging, so if you missed our announcements & invitations about Reach, LexBlog’s new community, the opportunity to discover Reach is now.

Direct access to Reach through your dashboard makes sharing an ideaasking a question, or giving praise easy- literally at your fingertips.

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22 Ideas to Beat Writer’s Block

Every blogger experiences writer’s block on occasion—that nagging inability to put fingers to keyboard. The densely-packed schedules of most attorneys often serve as a convenient excuse for letting lack of inspiration get the best of them.

Don’t let writer’s block win.

This recent Forbes article 50 Content Marketing Ideas for Your Website or Blog got me thinking—what are some solid content ideas for law bloggers?

Here are some ideas based on my observations.

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Is the Heartbleed Bug a Concern for LexBlog Clients?

heartbleedYou may have heard news about the “Heartbleed bug.” Heartbleed is a bug that security researchers recently discovered in a core encryption library that secures most internet sites.

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A Blogging Resolution: 3 Steps to Make it Happen

It’s a new year and always a time to reflect on how to do this one a little better than the last one. I’ve got an idea for you! Blog more this year! Blog better this year! Make this the year you kill it with social media and build your online presence beyond your wildest dreams.

As with all good goals, creating a plan makes it far more likely to actually happen.

Sample Plan to get you Started:

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Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post

What’s the right combination for a great blog post? As the marketing director for LexBlog, I’ve had a front row seat to the content marketing explosion. Blogs are more important than ever to marketing strategy. We coach clients day in and out on blogging best practices, so I thought I’d share the best practices we’re seeing drive the most success for our clients.

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Flipboard: An Elegant, Magazine-Style Online Publications Reader

I use Flipboard on my Android phone and have found its magazine-style format refreshing. If you are converting from Feedly, it’s a step up (in my opinion) in overall look and layout. Flipboard is also available on iPad, iPhone, Android tablet, Kindle Fire, and NOOK. (I first heard it raved about by iPad users, so even though I might like phone-sized features, Flipboard apparently looks even cooler on a tablet.) Flipboard also has a desktop editor interface if you want to modify your preferences before going mobile.

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Shorten Content that Displays on the Homepage on Your LexBlog Blog (LexBlog’s WordPress Network)

Our team behind the scenes for “Please Advise” noticed something this morning – anyone coming to our homepage would probably find themselves endlessly scrolling to find latest content. Each of our most recent posts was long – due to words and often images (screenshots). We realized that although users navigate and find content in different ways (using the search bar, topics list, or even our how-to tag archive page), some first-time visitors may just simply scroll to see recent post information.

We also realized that all of this content on our homepage was probably slowing load times on our tablet and other mobile readers browsers.

There is a way to ease visitors weary scrolling fingers and mobile load times – by using the “continue reading” link to only display the first part of content on the homepage.

Use of the “Continue Reading” link has come up (for me) four times in the last week, both “how do I do it?” and “what are the basic guidelines around it?”. First, here’s the how-to:

Step One: Draft Post Content.

Step Two: Find the paragraph or line on which you want the “Continue Reading” link to appear. Hit “Return” or “Enter” as needed to create a new paragraph line that will contain the “Continue Reading” link.

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