There was nothing more scintillating than having your picture next to the search results in Google. It was quite simple. You added the authorship markup code to your sites, linked to your Google+ profiles, and link back from the Google+ profile to the profile on your site. This is what the Google authorship markup was all about – having an image and the byline for listing.
All of a sudden, Google has announced that the authorship markup days are gone and that they have permanently closed it down. This means no limelight for you with images and bylines. The author image was observed to have been removed back in June.
This was followed by the dropping out of authorship reporting in Webmaster Tools. Now, everything that was related to Google Authorship has been removed. It is gone forever. It has been confirmed by John Mueller from Google that the authorship has been removed from Google search.
Image Courtesy: sitepronews.com
Why Authorship Has Been Removed?
The Google Authorship was leveled not for the public, but for the experts, and according to John Mueller, lack of adoption by the experts led down to the closure of the Google Authorship Markup.
There were very few verified authors from a majority of industries. The more vital it was to be a credible writer in an industry, the lower the adoption of the authorship markup was observed for that industry.
How are you affected by the drop in the Authorship?
At this moment, we can’t exactly estimate how this is going to affect us. However, it is quite evident now that when you cross-refer your site and the Google+ profile with the Google authorship markup code, it will not show the images next to the write-ups.
It is very early to predict how things could change in the future. So, if your site has an authorship markup, do not remove it at this moment. We never know when Google changes its mind and finds good reasons to have the author markup in your website.
One more thing that is highly recommended is to increase the Google+ participation as your activities on Google+ will still continue to show up on Google search results along with the photo of the author associated with that activity. This will boost the usability of Google+. You could also create original contents and post on Google+. By increasing the participation, you are also increasing the chances of appearing on Google search results.
Is Author Rank affected by the drop in Authorship?
Author rank is completely different for the idea of Google Authorship. Your Author Rank is dependent on how Google alters the ranking of a page on the basis of the writer or the authority of the writer. The close down of Google Authorship Markup is not in any way going to affect how Google rewards the authoritative writers. There are numerous parameters considered by Google before giving an author rank. For eg: it looks out for bylines that appear often in news stories.
How Google+ will be affected by the close down of Authorship?
Does the close down of Google Authorship Markup mean that there is no need for all the businesses to be on Google+ from now on? It was mandatory for all businesses to be present on Google+ in order to get their high quality content published with the author image. It could be quite tough for Google+ to stand alone on its own advantages. However John Mueller has stated the following:
“It’s also worth mentioning that Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query — both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn’t impact these social features.”
It is still worthy having your content shared through the +1 button as you get more credibility on having the content shared on Google+. Google+ will still continue to rank on some of the portions of the Google search results page.
All is not lost by the closure of the Google Authorship Markup, thus all the efforts that you have put on to build your position in the industry are not wasted. No one will even care to know what you have to say if you are not going to do something to show yourself as an expert. And if people do care, you don’t need any picture on the search results as they will continue liking you and share your content.