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For a while now google allows website owners to connect a google+ profile to your search results which will most importantly lead to a "profile" picture being next to the search result.

However, will these results have a higher CTR than normal results? And if there is a difference, then why do users prefer one method over another?

seach result with authorship vs. search result without authorship

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3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yes, it does. We will always remember a person or post better with his image than a name, a reason why we have moved from text to icons, videos , command prompt to GUI.

So this

post with image

is always better than this

post without image

But however google as always gives priority to clicks over posts with G+ post association, so even after G+ association this post is way below in list

post G+ profile at bottom in list

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The real answer is "It depends."

  • For products website, it is suggested to remove the authorship of the web page.

    When you intend to search product, you perceived that the face-tagged post probably is not the product page. So you tend to skip over those links and go for another.

    Example: How Google Authorship decreased our traffic by 90%

  • For reviews, tutorials or other subjective topics, it is appropriate to associate the post with the author.

    It works effectively to recall one's memory only when

    1. The site contains lots of (hundreds/thousands of) related information for a topic.
    2. He/she visits the site quite often.
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There's more than a few people that I have never met, and some I don't even follow, whose names I know only because their name and picture pops up regularly next to search results on topics that I search.

That said, I suspect this is a topic better suited to the webmaster's site and hopefully somebody will migrate it so you can get better responses.

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