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Mike Blumenthal recently experienced a face brownout with Google. Ouch! How painful.

Don’t worry. Even though it could happen to you, it’s only virtually painful. No physical pain.

What happened is, Google didn’t like his author photo. So he changed it.

The thing that strikes me about this is, Google is able to identify an author by their photo, which is pretty amazing. And another thing, Google arbitrarily decides it doesn’t like certain photos and that becomes your problem. Welcome to the world of Google.

If you find your photo not showing up in Google search results alongside your articles, especially when it did before, then do as Mike Blumenthal did and change your photo. If that new photo starts showing up in search results, then you know the problem was the photo. If it doesn’t, then it’s a problem you can’t fix, evidently.

Here’s a little advice about author photos. When possible, use full face photos. I think Google likes those better.

At any rate, don’t use photos where your image is obscured or where only half of your face shows (I know, Seth Godin does it – but, he’s been doing it for forever and a day).

You want to make it easy for Google to associate your name with your image. That’s the main thing. And there’s even a fancy name it – FaceRank.

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