Our Google Authorship plugin – Google Author Link has been very popular, now nearing 40,000 downloads on the WordPress Plugin Repository.
When supporting the plugin we commonly have questions about testing the authorship setup, the main tool that we refer people to is Google’s own Rich Snippet Test tool. Once people have that working though it’s up to the Google system to show or not show the authorship details within its search result pages.
I recently asked about this in the Google Authorship Community on Google+ to get some other ideas as to why some people’s authorship shows up right away and for others it does not. I had a very helpful response back from Mark Traphagen who’s one of the community moderators.
At this conference Matt Cutts of Google announced they would be cutting back on the amount of authorship results shown in search by about 15%. He said in testing that when they made that reduction “quality went up significantly.”
We don’t know exactly what he meant by that, but suspect that those who are getting cut could be any of the following:
1. People violating any of the guidelines in the official FAQ http://bit.ly/1i6OEG1
2. People posting mostly on low quality or spammy websites.
3. People who have not yet built up much authority (whether link authority or social signals) to their content.
Again, all of the above is speculative; we’ve had no definitive word from Google on any of this.