Google stops showing who wrote what in its search results

Google Authorship is no more. It has lived for only three short years, from the time Mountain View launched it in 2011, displaying people’s faces alongside anything they’ve written on a website tied to their Google+ accounts. Yes, it stopped showing author’s profile pics back in June, because the company wanted to unify mobile and desktop experiences, and Authorship snippets take too much space on a phone’s screen. But now it’s officially dead, dead, dead, with Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller issuing its death certificate. See, people haven’t been using it enough, and when they do, they almost always miss a step in the set-up process, like forgetting to link back to the publishing site on their Google+ profiles.

According to Search Engine Land, in a sample group of 500 authors across 150 major media websites, only 151 had set up their Authorship permissions correctly. And it’s not like they lost out by not fixing it — the tech giant didn’t even see any significant difference in click-throughs whether a search result comes with Authorship snippets or not. The feature just didn’t take off enough to meet Google’s expectations, so it was sent to the chopping block, just like Reader. Note that you might still come across some Authorship-like bits in your search results, though. Google still shows authors’ profile pics beside their G+ posts, so long as they’re in your circles, and you’re signed into your account.

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Source: Search Engine Land, John Mueller (Google+)

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