Google gives big sites a free pass on author profile pictures
Notice anything odd about these two web results? They've got Google's new author profile pictures in, right?
How you normally make those photos appear
Well, no. Normal websites have to go through a slightly complicated process to get photos of the author of a page showing up in Google's web results (the old process, the new process). This basically involves cross linking your Google profile and either the page in question or to an "author page" that the page in question also links to.
But when you do that, Google's results show not just a photo - but also a link to your Google profile.
And this link to the Google profile is missing from the screenshot above (but you can see it in the picture here).
So what's going on?
It turns out that those two web results from the Guardian aren't showing photos because of Google's normal process for making them appear.
There are no links from the author profiles on the Guardian to the journalist's Google profiles. And their Google profiles don't link to their author pages. (Here is Charles Arthur's author page on the Guardian and his Google profile. Here is Jemima Kiss's author page on the Guardian and her Google profile.)
However, both those author pages link to the journalist's twitter accounts - as do their Google profiles. And it appears that Google has decided that on the basis of this, it can presume that the photo on their Twitter profile picture is a picture of the article's author - and is showing the photo.