Google Drops Support of Google Authorship
August 31, 2014
IN what will come as a shock to many in the search industry, Google has announced that it is dropping its support of its much vaunted Google authorship program, leading to many speculating about the future of Google+ and whether it will have as large an effect on organic search results as had previously been anticipated.
Google’s John Mueller announced the change on Thursday, meaning that in a very short span of time users should see the complete removal of authorship credentials from Google’s search results.
Not only that but any algorithmic consideration it had been given will be similarly nixed, with Mueller noting “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.
“Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query – both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn’t impact these social features.”
To further clarify for those who thought that authorship may still have some behind the scenes meaning he concluded “We’re no longer processing this data — it’s not just a UI change.”
Publisher markup will continue to be utilised but really the question is for how long. This change will likely cause some consternation amongst search engine optimisation companies as well, who will have invested considerable time and effort in authorship under the assertion that it mattered to Google.
We advise anybody with authorship implemented on their website to replace it with publisher markup for the time being, to ensure that your information is still credited to your organisation through Google+. However it is a concerning time for Google’s social media adventure and this may well e the beginning of the end for such markup tools.
Alternatively, it also raises the possibility that Google has something new up their sleeve that will render authorship completely redundant. Only time will tell.