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Google strips content authorship from search engine results

Google has made the decision to stop authorship markup when it comes to search results.

In other words, previously when you searched and saw a relevant article pop up, you'd also see the author and a link to his or her Google+ account. However, those details have been stripped away as of now.

Why? According to The Next Web (opens in new tab), John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, said that the company had found that information wasn't as useful to searchers as was hoped – and indeed at times it detracted from the overall search results.

Mueller noted: "With this in mind, we've made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results."

This follows a move earlier this summer, in June, when Google stripped author photos from its search results. At the time, one of the reasons given was mobile, with photos not fitting well in terms of smartphone surfing and bandwidth – but clearly, it was part of a bigger picture move, the fruition of which has come this week.

Related: Google+ stops forcing people to use their real name (opens in new tab)

Mueller also stated that in testing, it was found that removing authorship doesn't affect traffic to websites. This is purely a change to improve the user's search experience, he asserted.

He also clarified: "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."

Needless to say, there are some unhappy folks there, and webmasters who feel that Google's authorship program wasn't so much an experiment as an excuse to drive folks to join Google+ and link through on a large scale.

At any rate, it's all over now.

Read more: Bye, bye, Google+... and good riddance (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.