Google Authorship Terminated after 3-Year Run

Have you noticed anything with Google Search lately? If you’re a frequent Search user, you’ve probably noticed that vital information about the author of a particular piece of online content are no longer showing up on search result pages. If you’re wondering why this is so, there is a simple explanation for this: the tech giant has finally pulled the pluggoogle-authorship-featured off Google Authorship.

The move came two months after Google disabled images for Authorship. With this, the bylines and everything else related to the program are now gone. The tech giant said it decided to cancel the program because the information that Authorship is providing for users was not found to be as useful as the company has expected.

“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. With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results,” said Google’s John Mueller.

If you have been using Google Authorship in your online campaigns, don’t fret. John assured site owners that Google’s latest move won’t affect site rankings or incoming traffic. He explained that since Authorship didn’t help to increase traffic to web pages, there won’t be a decrease in traffic going forward.

Another reason why Google decided to terminate Authorship is because of low adoption rates by authors and webmasters. This reasoning was supported by a research made by Search Engine Land. According to Eric Enge of Search Engine Land, participation in authorship was “spotty at best” and “almost non-existent” in certain areas. He added that even when site owners decide to use Authorship, they often did it incorrectly.

Many site owners and authors, especially the non-tech-savvy ones, shied away from Google Authorship also because it wasn’t that easy to implement. According to them, the markup and linking were too complex for their tastes. As a result, only a few people were inclined or compelled to try it for themselves.

Does this mean that Google won’t reward the original authors of online content now that it has decided to shut down Authorship? According to the tech giant, this isn’t necessarily the case. Apparently, Google has other ways to determine who it believes to be the original author of a story. For instance, it can look for visible bylines that often appear on news stories. These bylines have existed even before Google launched Authorship three years ago so it is very likely that Google will use this and other means to reward those who consistently create and post original content online.

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