As many of you know, Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, announced at PubCon that you should expect a 15% reduction in the amount of rich snippets and authorship displayed in the Google search results.
There are several threads, including one at WebmasterWorld where webmasters and SEOs are preparing for the reduction in the richer display in the Google search results. Many noticed increases in click through rates and thus higher sales and traffic because of the increase in CTR. But if your site doesn't make the cut and you are part of the 15% reduction, how will you recoup?
To me, it makes sense. Why show rich snippets for all sites that have the markup? Google should reserve them for sites that they deem authoritative enough to display them. There are tons of spammy sites marked up with it. Let alone sites abusing it and spamming rich snippets.
A year ago, it seemed Google began cutting back on displaying rich snippets. This is all while making it easier for sites to mark up their pages. Heck, my authorship dropped out for several months and eventually returned - likely due to a bug on Google's part.
One person at WebmasterWorld said:
So why did Google ever give rich snippets to low quality sites in the first place? It doesn't take a genius to realize that this would be a magnet for spammers. They should have tried to exclude low quality sites from the beginning.
Are you surprised Google is reducing the rich snippets shown? Probably not. But all that effort Google put into convincing webmasters would benefit from it and then to take that away from 15%, just doesn't seem that nice.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.