Google Authorship is Dead
Like some other notable projects of years past, Google is officially abandoning Google Authorship. What began as an interesting attempt to let authors build user recognition and trust ended up as simply a way for SEOs to help their clients make their SERP presence a bit bigger.
A while back, Authorship phased out the photos that used to accompany results on the SERPs, and on August 28th, they announced they were dropping support for it completely. In a Google+ post, John Mueller comments “…we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.”
Later in the post, Mueller mentions that Google is committed to supporting and expanding structured data markup, like Schema.org. It isn’t very often we hear such direct comments from Google, so when they mention something, it’s best to pay attention. If you have been neglecting schema markup in the past, it’s time to revisit it!
Read John Mueller’s full Google+ post below:
Despite Authorship going away, there may still be value to marking up your articles with tags like rel=”Author” or other schema, according to this article. Though author images and bylines in search are going away, Google has still expressed interest in attributing articles to authors based on bylines and other criteria. There may come a day when an article written by a trusted author receives a rankings bump.