There have been recent rumblings about Google Authorship causing dramatic drop in internet traffic to websites that have enabled or disabled this feature. While some sites have complained to Google, the company’s Webspam Team Head, Matt Cutts has denied that authorship issues were the cause for traffic drops for specific sites and explained that it was the Penguin webspam algorithm that was responsible for the drop in traffic.
However, arguments continue with new sites citing the same problem. Some sites that set up Google authorship reported that they witnessed a sharp drop in web traffic as soon as it went live. Such sites naturally correlated authorship with drop in traffic and many engaged in detailed studies to find out if this was indeed the case despite Google’s denial.
A few online businesses went ahead and removed Google Authorship once they witnessed reduced traffic and sales. Some felt that the presence of their photos may have contributed to people not clicking on the links since visitors did not know them. Most were convinced about the negative aspects of Authorship since they claimed that they did not change any other factor during that time frame.
However, detailed analysis of a few sites revealed that CTR had remained the same even though there was a drop in traffic, which led many analysts to believe that there were factors other than authorship that had caused a steep drop in traffic. Unfortunately, a few websites landed from the frying pan into the fire since their traffic dropped further upon removing authorship from their websites. Some sites needed help in removing the entire code after removing authorship to ensure that their pages got indexed in the routine manner once again.
Many websites however remain convinced that removing authorship evokes a very strong and adverse reaction from Google that results in dropped rankings, traffic, and sales. It seems that argument between Google and affected site owners and managers will continue until Google clarifies on the precise workings of its algorithm, which means that the argument is set to continue.