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I am not intrested in why I don't see the picture in SERPs.

So I know this is borderline off-limits but I turned every stone in the web (including DDgo) trying to find anybody experiencing a worse position in SERPs after implementing rel=author tags.

In Google Webmaster Tools:

Google Structured Data Testing Tool: showing the verified author snippet

Everything seems fine but the first results dropped 14 places in SERPs in the past two days. The original landing page went down from first page to 5th page in a few days. It is a useful site with original content concerning marriage laws. This specific page is no where to be found and now the first result leads to the home page.

Assuming everything else is the same with no changes made to the site at all is there a reason the rel=author tag will cause such a plummet?

Additional info that might be useful: The Google+ account is as dead as a palm pilot.

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How long ago did you implement rel=author? How long was your page ranking 14 places higher than it is now? – w3dk Dec 23 '12 at 17:52
This all happened in about 4-5 days. The website has been same result +- 2 for about a year. – raam86 Dec 23 '12 at 18:58

I can only assume why this happened since Google doesn't publish detailed information on their algorithms.

Google aims to personalize the web, remember all the +1 buttons in the web search, and after connecting your website with G+ accounts it is possible to match (not) existing contacts in the profile's circle with the person who searches. Probably you will have a better SERP result Google thinks that the person who is searching knows you. The counterpart is a lower general ranking.

Google connected my website and my G+ profile automatically and there was no change of SERPs...

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Not to be rude but are you, or have you ever been, associated with a site that was significantly penalized by Google, by algorithm (in an update) or manually?

If so, it makes sense that they might trust your other content less.

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None taken. I am part of a team that handled 100's of websites historically and some of them have been penalized over the years but how can Google detect affiliation between these websites? – raam86 Aug 10 '13 at 17:19
Proper implementation of rel="author" requires reciprocal links to and from a Google+ profile, thus an explicit declaration of sites you are affiliated with. Not to mention WHOIS records, webmaster tools verification, etc. – adam-asdf Aug 10 '13 at 19:31
It's different authors – raam86 Aug 10 '13 at 19:38
Same concepts would apply to the authors. – adam-asdf Aug 10 '13 at 21:12

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