Content and Copy
The writing was on the wall and now it has happened: Google has axed authorship functionality and will stop showing authorship results in Google Search. It also means that the big G will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup in your code. For many of us little guys who were just starting to figure out how authorship could be used effectively this is both a boon and a slap in the face. A boon because it’s one less thing for us to master but a slap in the fce because authorship had the potential to give aspiring freelancers and writers instant street cred.
But there were a couple of clear signs that all was not well with Authorship and the first one took place in December 2013 when Google announced that it was reducing the number of author photos shown per search. Then, less than two months ago, Google removed all author photos from search. So, why did the Bg G do it and what does it mean for you?
We’ve all seen over the years that nothing is sacred at Google and the will trash an idea or feature if they do not believe it’s performing well. At Google they constantly test and measure user engagement to ensure that each new roll-out is performing well. If it isn’t, or if it’s taking the company in a direction they don’t like, it gets axed. According to this great and in-depth Search Engine Land article, there are two main reasons that Google dropped authorship:
1. Low adoption rates by authors and webmasters.
2. Low value to searchers.
In short, due to a variety of problems with attribution and confusion among authors and webmasters abut how to easily add authorship functionality to a piece of content, Authorship failed to deliver and has gone the way of the Dodo.