Google has shuttered the Authorship experiment

Google has shuttered the Authorship experiment

After a three year run, "authorship" (which showed a relative Google+ Author profile next to search results) has been removed. John Mueller announced the end stating they've "observed that this information isn't as useful to our users as we'd hoped, and can even distract from those results". The removal has come as no surprise to the SEO community who have been watching the gradual demise over the last eight months.

In December 2013 Google not only reduced the size of author photos, as well as selectively displaying text-only 'bylines'. At the end of June 2014 Google removed author photos entirely leaving just the bylines. Mueller also stated that the removal of the author photos were to move towards unifying the UX between desktop and mobile search. He also said that they hadn't observed any difference in search behaviours between versions.

Personally I didn't trust results with authorship. Authors were abusing their ability to add profiles to their search engine results to try and boost the validity of the pages attached. Basically they were trying the celebrity endorsement approach to selling. Got a product that's not selling well? Get a celebrity to spruik it! - Just like late night TV, our search results started to show poor quality infomercials relying on a face to sell a product. I'm somewhat glad that they removed this spammy attribute from search results.