It is official. Google has announced the drop of its Authorship functionality from webmaster tools and search engine results.
Google cleared away ‘Author Photos’ from search results in the last week of June (2014). This was done in order to decrease clutter and confusion in the search results. And within a few days Google finally bid adieu to the authorship. The announcement got confirmed by John Mueller, who was involved in Google Authorship since the beginning, in an update on Google+. He stated that the authorship wasn’t much useful to the users and didn’t meet the required expectations.
Background of Google Authorship
The Authorship was created in 2012 with a mission of giving a chance to the writers to assert their content, at the same time as search engines could index the content of the authors. This helped in establishing integrity of the content for both the websites and the writers and allowed the users to get an idea of the author prior to clicking the link in search results.
The mark-up of Authorship implemented with the photos of the author in the search results helped in dramatically improving traffic for some websites. An increase in ‘click through rate’ (CTR) was observed and users started identifying authors linked with the content.
The team at Google keep experimenting with its products and features and even disable them if they do not appear to solve any purpose. According to John Mueller, the Authorship was not found beneficial for the users, so the team at Google stopped showing it in the search results.
Now you can remove the mark-up of Authorship from websites as it is unclear whether it will be revived in future or not. If you use WordPress, you can simply disable the plugin for Google authorship without any effect on SEO as Google has stopped evaluating it.