Google announced at the start of September they will be dropping Google Authorship altogether (after removing Authorship Photos from search results in June).
Interestingly – around a year and a half ago – Google announced that “Authorship” would become rather important – in fact their CEO even suggested in the future that you might end up “irrelevant” i.e a bit of a nobody if you didn’t tie up your Google+ author profile with your published blog posts.
Under Google’s “dastardly” authorship scheme , content marketers, SEO’s and writers could add the rel=author markup to their bylines for themselves or their clients, linking them to an individuals Google+ pages.
Cue a cynical face from the MD in the office. His view was it was just another exercise to identify writers and SEO’s in the Google+ network and that the influence of Authorship was the carrot to find out who was who.
Was he right? Well who knows, for now Google isn’t saying.
But as of the start of this month Google dropped Authorship altogether.
Their excuse seems to be that it was implemented by only a few sites – the professionally SEO’d ones most likely – and that where it was implemented it was carried out incorrectly. The fact that they seemed to chop and change the process to streamline it probably was the cause of confusion to some but even now it still doesn’t feel like a valid reason to get rid of it
Some folk in the SEO industry are now claiming that Authorship might now be dead but Author Rank isn’t. Well it wouldn’t take much for Google to kick that out of their systems along with Google Plus.
Have Google now gathered all the identity data they need to make the next round of updates to SEO to keep us all on our toes? Is it a death knell for Google Plus? < the MD is seemingly nodding… or is that pleading? 😉 >
Only time will tell…
Ps One thing is that the publisher tag still remains valid… this might be a signal that is strengthened…