After about two years of pushing writers, bloggers and authors to link all their published content to their Google+ authorship profile, Google has finally decided that it isn’t going to work. While many individuals and sites have used the authorship tags during this time, it appears that it hasn’t been as beneficial to the people who are searching, which is why Google won’t be displaying it anymore.
According to John Mueller of Google, “I’ve been involved since we first started testing authorship markup and displaying it in search results. We’ve gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we’ve tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, 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.”
The program, which has been in place since 2011, has had a lot of ups and downs and changes over the past several years. Many people expected this change since they started removing parts of the feature. Specifically, when they dropped the author image from the search results some time back.
Whether you liked the feature or not, there is no denying that it caused more confusion than benefit. This is especially true for marketers who were trying to comply with what Google wanted to maximize their SEO benefits.
You can read more about the decision to drop the authorship tags form the SERPs in the official announcement, HERE.