Google has announced some changes to search results that are worth noting that could affect CTR for those with either page 1 rank or who have established authorship for site content (and if you haven’t done that, you should). If you’re a content marketer or web manager take note.
Changes to Search Results for Position 1
Bigger headlines and site info cards are coming to a search result near you. The changes particularly influence mobile experience. If you have the top rank and your site has site links, the size of the headline is increasing.
What does this mean? Two things. More real estate for your search result which means higher click through rates but it also means your site title will be truncated so the words at the beginning of your site title are even more important so make sure your aren’t starting your site title with HOME.
Also, Google is experimenting with adding site info cards to the search result. Appending your site link with additional information making your result essentially take up the entire screen on a mobile result.
Changes to Google Authorship
Google has decided to remove images and circle counts from the byline area of search results. While the search giant claims CTRs aren’t affected and the move is to make the search experience look less cluttered, the lack of a thumbnail author image next to content certainly makes a piece of content less likely to stand out on a SERP.
What Google’s Changes Mean To Me
Authorship is still relevant but the extra visual stand out incentive is no longer there. It still remains to be scene how big of a role G+’s authorship will play in the future of Google’s hummingbird algorithm but it’s definitely going to be more of a role then less.
The larger headlines and taking up more real estate are great if your page one, rank one search results and you’re site and secured the site links, however as a user, I’m not that thrilled about Google returning a screen of one big link and forcing a scroll to view others. Obviously CTR will increase on position 1, but will results be that relevant?