June’s end brought the first big change for Google’s authorship feature, as the profile photos and circle count were removed from search results. Why? There are rumors about the search giant figuring out whether this improves the CTR in organic results, while the clicks for AdWords ads were less and less. Ok, we could live with this, but August 29 brought another change… This time, things are more serious.
Mr. John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, announced on his G+ account that they have made “the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.”
Three years ago, when it was first introduced, it was perceived as a way of making people use Google+ more, so right now, many users believe that the search giant finally figured out that the social network failed to gain momentum and it’s slowly dying. As a personal point of view, I can agree with this, but it’s definitely too early to talk about this.
If you were a fan of authorship, you don’t need to worry that much, as according to Google’s research, it won’t affect search results. Still, when it was still used, it brought a lot of benefits to everybody using it. After all, picking the author you like from a list of results was very good for a website.
Now, that “rel=author markup” belongs to the past, Google recommends webmasters to take schema.org into consideration, as it helps the search engine to better understand what kind of website you have. So yeah, rich snippets won’t totally disappear from the search results.
I would like to know your opinion on this. Were you relying on authorship or it was a feature you never gave that much attention to? Do you think it’s a good idea to discontinue it?
Join the discussions here;