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Google offers the way to show the Google+ Avatar on any Google Result.

Currently I'm thinking about if it would be a nice feature, if the Avatar of the guy providing the "accepted" Answer for a question would get this additional Reward, to be displayed in the google-search-results along with his google-avatar?

Expected Solution

(imagine I would have given the accepted answer to that question)

Description

Technical Requirements

This display state can be achieved by simple providing a (hidden) Link to the Google+ profile of the avatar. However, the user would need to validate that he is owning the site stackoverflow.com - which is impossible.

The second possibility is to validate your ownership using an email-address that matches the domain - so @stackoverflow.com. This could be created for every user, so actually that shouldn't be a problem. (If a user decides to validate his posts, of course)

IF a user is validated, and the Google-Crawler will find the Term "by {GooglePlusName}" on a page, Google will display the Avatar along with the search result. (this term can be in a hidden span, div or whatever)

I don't know, if this would be possible at all (it might not be the way, Google expects this feature to work) or if that's even accepted and desired by the users/operators of stackoverflow.

However I think it would be a pretty awesome feature, that no other site has. Also one can find solutions faster. If I would see a "BalusC-Avatar" beneath a search result, I would know, that the answer is in there :D

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I don't know what anyone's avatar looks like, it would all just be noise as far as I'm concerned. I'd say low priority at best –  Richard Tingle Sep 11 '13 at 18:47
    
Well of course i dont know the avatars of every user. One could also couple that additional "feature" to like 250.000 reps or something. (The Google+-Reward-Batch) For the top-contributors I know the avatar I'd say. –  dognose Sep 11 '13 at 18:50
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I think that would confuse a lot of people, as some avatars only make sense to the SE users. Imagine if you weren't familiar with SE and you saw BoltClock's A Unicorn's avatar next to the results?!? –  Johnny Bones Sep 11 '13 at 18:50
    
@JohnnyBones that's right. If they are not the same avatars, that's bad... (Well, SE-Avatar could be fetched from G+, if the user enables the feature) - okay no excuses: Didn't think about that :P –  dognose Sep 11 '13 at 18:51
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IMO, avatars are just ice cream on top of a community driven site. You don't really need it per say, but it helps with member personalization. I don't really see how personalization is needed in a google search though, sorry. –  gitsitgo Sep 11 '13 at 18:57

1 Answer 1

This seems like it would cost an awful lot of time and resources, for no discernible advantage.

Possible disadvantages:

  • Noise... People come to SO for questions and more importantly answers, anything drawing attention away from the valuable information, like cute little pictures, is static not signal.
  • Server weight... I would imagine that this feature would tax resources quite a bit. With nearly 6 million questions, adding images to the search results for each would likely be heavy.
  • Many users have down right silly avatar images:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here (images have been used without permission, links to profiles not included to protect the guilty)
If you have a silly avatar image feel free to add it in

Possible Advantages

  • ???

What would be the point of having someone's avatar appear in search results?

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