• http://www.rankinstyle.com/ Jacques Bouchard

    Hey Barry – bafflingly, despite their announcement about the low value of this feature, they retain it for Google+. Very irritating.


  • Chris

    “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.” Translation: Less people were clicking on our ads.

  • Alex

    Although I wonder where we will land with Author Rank….just because they aren’t displaying this in the results anymore doesn’t mean Authorship is dead…

  • David Abramson

    Clarifying question: Does that mean that they aren’t using it as a ranking factor or that they just aren’t displaying authorship markup in search results?

  • Craig Payne

    David’s point is important. John Mu’s statement only said that they dropped it from the search results display. Nothing was said about the plans (or even use) they had for determining the “authoritativeness” of an author and perhaps factoring that into the search results.

  • mesasmiles

    David Abramson: It wouldn’t make sense for Google to pour cold water on authorship like this, which would discourage anyone from using it, and then on the other hand try to use it as a ranking factor. But I would like to hear a definitive answer from Google on this.

  • http://www.chrissanfilippo.com/blog Chris Sanfilippo

    It’s important to note that they are no longer processing the authorship data. So it’s 100% useless. ”

    John Mueller3 hours ago+Dan Shure we’re no longer processing this data — it’s not just a UI change. ”
    Read here: https://plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z12byt3g3pb3sj0v322wwhkp2wingbwtj

  • http://seodeva.com/ Hannah Dixon

    Well I think we saw this coming, shame, I thought it looked great on the SERP ;)

  • Jove

    When people have questions, they look for the answers first.. then, note the provider second.. perhaps, this is why authorship did not work that well.. it may have built some more credentials to the author, but maybe still not enough to boost ranking.. if it was really used somehow, additionally, for that purpose.

  • http://www.rankinstyle.com/ Jacques Bouchard

    My feelings are that the markup is now dead, so it’s just become a whole lot harder for Google to accurately identify authors. With the lift of a finger, they could have clearly identified that the markup had value and SEOs would have retained it as valuable. That they didn’t is telling that it doesn’t have “invisible” value, in my book.

  • Durant Imboden

    AJ Kohn wrote about this in an article titled “Authorship is Dead, Long Live Authorship” nearly a year ago:


    The article made several important points, among them:

    1) Google has already moved beyond authorship markup to “entity extraction” as a way to identify authors. That’s probably a good thing, because many authors don’t use authorship markup or write for sites that don’t use authorship markup. (Google probably should have skipped the authorship-markup stage altogether, since the people most interested in authorship markup seem to be SEOs.)

    2) Going forward, “building authority is what will ultimately matter and be reflected in any related ranking signal.”

    It’s worth noting that Matt Cutts has talked repeatedly about the Google search team’s efforts to figure out who’s an authority on this or that and use such authority (a.k.a. subject expertise) as a ranking factor for a given topic. That’s likely to be far of far more value to Google’s search results–and to authors who are subject experts–than author photos and bylilnes in the SERPs.

  • sharithurow

    Hi all-

    I have posted to SEL and ML for many years that the author photo in search results did not have as great an impact as people think it does. Search my comments for examples (if you need proof).

    We did a very careful study on a publisher site years ago, and the data showed that there was no increase in click-throughs based on the photo presence. What was and is most important to people is the presence of their query words.

    Bottom line? Many subject authorities have a better use of their time — continuing their work to be subject authorities. Google+ was dependent on subject authorities participating.

    Search engines are continuing to test items in search results. I’m sure that PR (public relations, not PageRank) is hyped up for anything new so Google gathers enough data to determine whether or not the item is good for the searcher experience.

    It will probably happen again…just with another search feature.

  • http://tvjames.blogspot.com/ TV James

    Seems like I should no longer bother go to the trouble to schema.org-ize my book reviews on my blog either. It’s not like I’ve seen any pattern shift on those reviews with markup versus those without. I liked seeing my name and photo next to my posts in Google.com. Maybe they dropped it because too many of us were Googling ourselves and not clicking on anything.

  • http://thechroniclesofrenard.blogspot.com/ Renard Moreau

    [ Smiles ] I still think that the removal of authorship is a bad idea.

  • http://www.nsipartners.com Michael Horst

    This just goes to prove to our industry that you should never completely trust any feature that Google adds to their products, because it may not be around forever. The one caveat to that is things that make Google money. Those we should probably pay attention to.

  • sharithurow

    Here’s a citation for everyone:

    “Be careful when using faces on web pages. Faces can be effective in drawing attention; however, at times they can be distracting and divert fixations from key information.”

    From the book: Bergstrom, J. and Schall, A. (2014). Eye Tracking in User Experience Design. Morgan Kaufmann.

    It’s on page 63, but there is more information about visual hierarchy in the chapter. It is quite possible that faces slowed down task completion (search, scan, read, click).