Apparently Google has decided to unceremoniously end Google Authorship without much warning or fan fare (at least upon one of their official blogs).
“Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search.”
TechCrunch & Search Engine Land provide deeper analysis on Google Authorship’s untimely demise, although I think +John Mueller (a Googler who worked on Authorship) sums it up best:
“If you’re curious – in our tests, removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads. We make these kinds of changes to improve our users’ experience.”
Note: Emphasis mine.
Since I did not pay for Google Authorship (at least in cash anyways) I technically have no reason to complain about its end as Google’s free services ultimately have to prove their worth (in either influence or ad currency).
But truthfully I am not thrilled by Google Authorship’s demise as it was quite useful to verify articles written by journalists & bloggers, regardless of prominence (especially in this day & age of spam blogs copying content).
About Dot Who‽
Hopefully someone else will step in (whose name doesn’t rhyme with Facebook), although currently I’m looking towards About.Me to fill in the gap.
Over the weekend I’ll be removing my Google+ authorship codes across my various digital havens (since it’s dead code) & replace it with a link towards my About.me page (which is located at Darnell.bio).
Hopefully more people adopt About.me as the nexus for digital profiles in the future, as it would make it easier to confidently identify which brilliant minds create content upon my favorite sites.