Google kills Google Authorship

On the auspicious Ganesh Chaturthi day of 2014, Google announced its decision to kill Google Authorship. The search engine giant made this announcement through a Google+ post by John Mueller, someone who was involved in the authorship experiment right from the beginning.

What does the removal of Google Authorship mean for webmasters and SEO professionals?
a) Google search results (non-personalised) will no longer feature author information as they used to previously. Google had already removed showing author images since June 2014.
b) No support for Google Authorship is available via Webmaster Tool
c) In personalized searches, ie. searches performed in a logged-in state, searchers may find Google+ posts from friends or “socially connected” pages. According to John Mueller, the killing of authorship does not impact such social features.

One of the reasons cited by Google for the decision to kill the authorship mark-up might seem very surprising- that there was not much difference in how users interacted with the authorship results in search results. A number of experts in the SEO industry had conducted studies and experiments pointing to a lift in click-through rate from search results when the result featured an authorship profile. Of course, Google has the ability and processing power to decide based on a significantly larger data set than what SEO experts would have been work with. That there was insufficient take up by publishers is a lot more plausible— the process of implementation of Authorship wasn’t very easy by any means.

The ‘execution’ of Google Authorship once again raises questions over the life expectancy of Google+. Increasingly, the question seems to be “when” rather than “if” Google+ will also be put down. For now, though, Google+ seems to have the benefit of life support.

- NetMarketer Editorial Team