I noticed around 3 months ago that the picture next to my blog posts in Google search results had disappeared. I thought at first it was just a temporary thing. However I checked back a couple of weeks later and noticed my picture had still not returned.
After checking the support page and then reading about how Google might be tightening up the rules on what pages you could add authorship to I decided to strip back my authorship mark-up to just my actual blog posts (and hence removing it from all category/tag listings). It still had no impact on returning my profile picture. So I reverted my mark up to it’s original state.
My next step was to actually take a look at my Google Plus profile. At the time my profile had 2 followers. Let’s be honest, I don’t really use Google Plus. At all. The only reason I had an account was to allow me to have the authorship information appear in Google.
So I decided to spend a week or so and build up the number of followers on my Google Plus profile. After I hit 10 followers, my image appeared back in Google search results.
It would appear that you need to have at least 10 followers now on your Google Plus account for your image to appear.
Also ensure that you have followed the steps outlined by Google for Authorship. If you’re looking a for a quick friend, feel free to add me, I’m usually pretty quick to accept as it’s tied to my Google Account.
UPDATE – 15 March 2014
So after I had a rapid spurt of using Google Plus, gaining more than 10 followers and achieving my goal of having my authorship image reappear, I pretty much stopped using Google Plus right away.
You guessed it, my image dropped off about a week later. It would appear you need to have a considerable number of followers (100+ seems to be relatively consistent) and / or be quite active.
So back to Google Plus we go :(
If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know in the comments!