Google Authorship Has Been Shut Down

Google Authorship has been cancelled. John Mueller publicly shared on his Google+ profile yesterday that all remaining Google Authorship properties have been removed from display in the SERPS. While you can read John’s full statement on his profile, here’s the important details from his release.

We’ve gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we’ve tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results. 

(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.)

I thought Google Authorship was great at first. I thought it could really bring the search results to light and give people an “individuality” to their listings. Over time however, it became a “spammy” tactic that was easily identifiable and I believe it ended up “devaluing” the individuality of the SERP listing. I do also believe that when John states that in Google’s tests, authorship generally didn’t seem to reduce traffic to sites. I’ve measured those KPI’s and I haven’t seen a noticeable decrease across any of my sites that had Google Authorship implemented on them.

John also states within his post that the use of will have expanded support with the Google teams for structured markup:

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.

This is the best news that I could hope for with the cancellation of Google Authorship. has been and should be continued to be put front and center when it comes to providing information to your website. While anyone can learn it, unlike Google Authorship it doesn’t need just a snippet of code to be placed on your website. takes some thought in how you would like your site to be structured with Google, and it makes people really think about how they want their information displayed with all the important Search Engines.

Finally, within his statement John wants everyone to know that Google+ will still be used when making searches that your friends and circle makes have created content for:

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.

To be quite honest, the comments section of John’s update is chalked filled with the normal SEO gang (Barry Schwartz, Bill Slawski and AJ Kohn) asking tough question about what’s next in regards to Publishership, and much more. I suggest checking out the post to see what kind of other information will be dug up as this post continues to grow with heightened importance. As for myself, I’m going to end up posting my last snippet below and sobbing about what could have been. Google Authorship, Rest in Peace!

Google Authorship