Google Drops Authorship

“. . . we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.”

~ John Mueller, Google, August 28, 2014

Google Authorship

If you’ve had “set up Authorship” on your to-do list (you’re apparently not alone), you can cross it off. Yesterday, in a G+ post, Google’s John Mueller announced the end of Google Authorship markup.

First introduced in June of 2011, Authorship was designed to connect authors to their content with the goal of identifying industry authorities, and eventually influencing search rankings.

According to a detailed article on Search Engine Land, It’s Over: The Rise & Fall of Google Authorship for Search Results, Mueller gave two reasons for the failure of Authorship:

  1. Low Adoption Rates: Many authors and webmasters either didn’t bother setting it up, or set it up incorrectly when they did.
  2. Low Value to Searchers: the addition of author markup in the search rankings didn’t significantly affect searcher click through rates – apparently searchers saw little additional value in the listing that displayed authorship.

In his announcement, Mueller did say that searchers will continue to see G+ posts from people in their circles when the post is relevant to the search query.

Is this the end of authorship? Probably not. The idea of Google identifying area authorities, and using that as a search signal is too intuitive. I would expect to see another iteration on authorship from Google at some point in the future. For now . . .

“Going forward, we’re strongly committed to continuing and expanding our support of structured markup (such as This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web, and we’ll continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results.”

~ John Mueller, Google, August 28, 2014

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Brent is a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Henderson (Las Vegas valley) NV. He has a background in digital marketing and is a nationally recognized SEO expert. In addition to this blog, he is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal and has been syndicated through SteamFeed, Social Media Today and B2C.

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