Google search results will not display names of authors associated with articles anymore, bringing an end to the company’s Authorship experiment. The search giant had already stopped showing the Google+ profile photos and Google+ follower count numbers in late June. “Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search”, the company announced on its official authorship support page. Google first unveiled its plan for authorship markup in June 2011. The idea behind the experiment was to allow authors to link their published content to their Google+ profile, allowing users to identify quality content creators and authors to gain followers.
Google has decided to stop showing authorship references within search results — much to the dismay of journalists and writers, who require constant ego gratification. The move to cancel Authorship, a means to identify the authors of articles in Google searches, was announced today by Google’s John Mueller via a Google+ update. The reason for dropping the Authorship program? Apparently, the information is not terribly useful to people who make search queries and has even distracted from the search results. Mueller did, however, note that the presence of Authorship didn’t increase the traffic to articles, and similarly, removing them shouldn’t cause a dip in traffic either. Google first started implementing Authorship around the time the company was trumpeting the launch of its social network Google+. I believe the idea behind Authorship was to entice people to follow authors on Google+ if they enjoyed the article. But since most people have abandoned Google+, this strategy probably doesn’t matter anymore — especially if authorship references indeed distracted from the search results as Mueller mentioned.