Google Permanently Removes Authorship from Search Results
Google Webmaster John Mueller announced yesterday via his Google+ account that Google no longer supports authorship within search results. This comes after Google’s recent decision to remove authorship images from search results. Mueller noted that while Google has always strived to improve recognition of authorship information and authenticity, they’ve also “observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results.” He also further clarified Google’s intentions in the post’s comment thread by noting that they will “no longer [process] this data – it’s not just a UI change.”
So what does that mean for you? For those writers using authorship markup, Google will no longer give credit within search results. News results and posts from publishing outlets will contain an image, albeit a smaller one. These changes should not affect client rankings, however, and should be noted that it’s fine if clients still have authorship markup on their website. Google will still crawl it, but they won’t factor it in.
Google will continue to support and strongly recommends using structured markup, such as schema.org. The markup will help search engines to understand better the content and context of web pages. Google will continue to use markup to show rich snippets in search results.
Mueller also responded to concerns that the change may affect social media sharing: “It’s also worth mentioning that Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query — both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn’t impact these social features.”
What do you think about this move by Google?