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Webmaster trends analyst John Mueller announced in an August 28 Google+ post that Google search results will no longer display page authorship, also known as rel=author markup.
Mueller stated that Google tests found that taking authorship away did not reduce traffic to websites or increase clicks on ads.
Regarding the display of authorship information, Mueller wrote, “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.”
Google Authorship was implemented in 2011. The goal of authorship markup was to was to connect pieces of content to author profiles on Google+. The schema.org standards, which are still used in rich snippets, were used for this and other aspects of structured markup.
The end of authorship follows two recent reductions in authorship in recent months. Last December, Google decreased the number of author photos shown per query. In June, Google removed all author photos, (more…)
Three years ago, Google launched Google+, but you could only use your real name to participate. The rules have now changed.