The Return of Authorship Stats in Webmaster Tools & Some Data

I really enjoy playing around with enhancing SERP listings and rich snippets, and have done work on a lot of websites getting authorship mark-up onto my own and client websites.

When I was first doing this it was possible to review some results from this in Google Webmaster Tools and I was really disappointed when Google removed these Authorship statistics. Particularly as I hadn't exported any of that data at the time to review, compare and contrast as time goes on.

Well, this week, I've noticed that they are back (though a quick search indicates that they returned in mid July - I must have missed that one.) Needless to say, I've got a copy of all the data this time around for the accounts I have it implemented on, and I thought I'd share some of the data that my personal test sites has regarding authorship.

So, first off - the raw figures. These sites of mine are not the hugest traffic drivers on the web, but there are some URLs that have enough data to display for this:

Raw Authorship Stats

A few of these don't have enough click through data to give a percentage, and what this doesn't give is what keywords the average position data is for. I do find it intriguing that with an average position that is nowhere near page 1, that there can be some quite reasonable Click Through Rates.

Whilst this data is quite interesting, without some cross referencing it can be somewhat meaningless, so I will expand upon this further by looking at the impression data for some keywords associated with some of these pages.

So, lets start with the top post here that has the most clicks, a post that I did about some delivery issues that I experienced:

Delivery Issues Stats

It's easy to see that there is some variance here based on search term and there are certain phrases that have higher click throughs. However, I should note that in this instance, there is a double rich snippet, as this post includes Review Schema about my experience with this company:

Delivery Issues SERP results

So, this may skew the results here somewhat, but regardless, I think there are some pretty good click through rates from Rich Snippets for results quite low down page 1 on these terms.

One of the pages that stood out in my original stats for this was a post about chicken and prawn risotto, which I put up on my cookery site without hrecipe markup (which most of the rest of them have), so this only has authorship stats.

Drilling down to this at a keyword level, we can see that this is performing well, but from a top ranking position:

Risotto Stats

This term based on my rank tracking varies between 1st-3rd position, and 47% CTR seems pretty good to me here!

I would have loved to have shown some more data on this to compare and contrast with the authorship figures, but due to the longer tail nature of the search queries generating traffic to those pages with that authorship markup, there just isn't enough data at the moment.

Summary

What can we draw from this then?

If I get a chance, I need to try and test these in isolation a bit more, as I've been implementing review schema's, hrecipe (and soon will be using the recipe schema too) in conjunction with the authorship. I also need to get some visibility for some higher volume keywords so that Google Webmaster Tools can be me a greater amount of actionable data for comparisons.

I think I've used too many rich snippets to make conclusions purely about authorship here but the pages that I've used these on appear to have much greater CTR as a result of the enhanced search listings.

Particularly in search listings that are a bit "bland", it appears that these enhanced listings can really help to drive more traffic to the site despite not really seeing increases in ranking positions.

It stands to reason that this is the case and is no great surprise to those that have been using these I am sure. I just need to get some more data to really show it and will look to share it once I have it!

I'd be interested to see any data anyone else can share in this regard? Please let us know in the comments

Aug 08 2012
Peter Handley
Peter Handley

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