Content Marketing Blog

Google drops authorship from search results

Originally heralded by Google as a way for publishers to build an online reputation, Google Authorship has become a valuable content marketing tool over the past few years.

Up until now, that is.

Google has officially announced the end of the Google Authorship feature.

Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller broke the news at the end of last week on Google+, stating that after numerous attempts at making the feature successful, Google Authorship has been deemed no longer necessary.

Google Authorship has a poor adoption rates by authors, according to Mueller, and isn’t particularly valuable for searchers either.

The feature was launched back in 2011 as a way for authors to claim their work, and soon afterward it was turned into a ranking factor.

Google Authorship was integrated with Google+, enabling the Google+ profiles of authors to show up in search results next to their work.

Then in June of this year, Google took away the profile photo on authorship as it was supposedly diminishing the experience of mobile users.

Now with Google Authorship no longer showing up in search results, Mueller instead promoted the use of Schema.org, a site which indexes websites and businesses instead of writers.

To reassure publishers who were using the feature, Mueller said that according to their tests, this decision should not reduce traffic to sites.

But now what will happen to all this information Google Authorship collected?

Google Authorship may be down, but Author Rank is still very much alive, according to Search Engine Land‘s Founding Editor Danny Sullivan.

‘Author Rank’ – a term created by the SEO community – is an unofficial ranking signal Google uses to assign weight to author’s content.

Google also has other ways of detecting authors in search, said Sullivan, stating that Google has the ability to pick up the author bylines that often exist on news stories, as it did before the introduction of Google Authorship.

Although Google Authorship can no longer be a part of your content strategy, Google may still come up with new ways of assigning weight to trustworthy authors.

Posted by Dylan Brown

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