Google is putting an end to authorship after three years of starting the program. It has announced yesterday that it will no more show authorship result in a search result and neither track data from the content using re=author markup. It is a great effort to provide user-related search results from the expert authors. Well, in this blog we will see the rise of authorship and cessation reasons for authorship.
A brief Description of Authorship
The root of Google Authorship project started with Google Rank Patent 2007 when Bill Slawski thought of connecting to a system to multiple contents with a digital signature of one or more authors. This sort of identification can be given a score based on authority signal and trust which can influence in ranking. Agent rank remained theoretical until Google adopted and announced in June 2011 that it will support authorship markup. Then, it started encouraging webmaster to markup their content with “rel=” author” and rel=”me” tags” to connect content with author profile. Later, Google unveiled Google+ which serves as a universal identity platform and used in connecting content with authors.
Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson, then head of the Authorship project, gave an explicit explanation to authors how to connect their content with Google+ profiles which could show profile photo in a search result. He also hinted that in near future authorship can be used as a ranking factor.
Why Google has Ceased Authorship program?
Well, we know that Google products are not created for lasting forever. In the past, we have been seen many of its products are tested and evaluated its usefulness for the users after launching in the market. The products which are not bringing suitable result according to a goal are axed.
Within three years of launching Google Authorship, it is not getting the desired value as compared to resources required in collecting markup data. Further, there are two reasons which are not satisfactory for the company.
1. Lower participation from Author and Webmaster– The authorship program is almost non-existence in many companies. Most of the top influencers in social didn’t adopt the program and some of them committed mistakes in this process. According to a Forbes list of 50 most influential social media marketer in November 2012, it has been found that only 30% of them used Google authorship markup. But, 34% of them are getting a rich snippet from Google without even adopting the authorship program. It requires technical knowledge to the author to create the authorship hence, non-tech savvy people can’t avail the opportunity.
2. No Value for Searchers– The removing of profile photo from the global search was announced in late June this year by John Mueller. He further said that click behaviour of the user is not affected with authorship snippet or without it. This news brought shock to the industry as earlier thought the author snippet increases the click rate. Further, the user behaviour with or without authorship doesn’t change and hence has no value. But, interestingly author photo is still can be seen in the personalized search but can’t tell whether it will continue in the future as well.