No matter how good something is, if it interferes with the profit margin, it will only last so long. The great economic philosopher Adam Smith talked about how the “profit motive” guides all consumer activity in a capitalist society.
So with that in mind it should come as no surprise that Google recently announced the termination of the Rel=”Author” program. John Mueller of Google said they will be dropping photos and Google+ circle information from search results.
Google claims this switch is due to wanting to provide a less-messy, cleaner search engine results page (SERP). “Click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one,” Mueller said on how the change is good and going back to the original, more preferred model.
But the reality may be a little different than what Google is portraying. Search results that have pictures associated with the URL are more likely to be click on, viewed and interacted with compared to text-based search results. So what does that mean for all the ad revenue and click-through rates on varying search engines? It means they don’t make enough money.
Internet advertising is number one, for budgets, reach and interaction. Corporations are willing to pay a price for that easy exposure too. It’s the billboard on every street you drive. It’s the power of TV commercials before digital video recorders. And when results come back accompanied by a picture, the ads don’t get enough clicks.