We’ve seen Google Authorship in the SERP for over nine months now, and the novelty has worn off for users. What has not worn off is the power of personal branding for individuals with their image, name, and further information in the SERP after Google Plus sharing. We recognize faces more than names of websites. Think of the people that show up a lot in Goolgle SERPS because they write and share a lot on Google plus and many are in many circlers. You may reconize their authority and “personal brand” 5X more having seen their images than if their name only appeared in the snippet of text in the result.
Consider Robert Scoble. The former CEO of RackSpace has a unique avitar of himself for the Google Author image. Every time it appears next to a result we instantly draw a connection bettween the link to his content and it’s quality based on Google Plus sharing.
Website names appear with search results, but again, as text they do not convey the same lasting impression as a person’s likeliness, one which is like the old-school, printed facebooks at colleges. Imagine if Starbucks’ logo appeared in every SERP where they appear instead of the website or corporate name. The logo recognition, and all that it conjures for consumers, brings a much stronger connection.