In the year 2007, Google started its authorship experiment by patenting the Agent/Rank Author/Rank idea. The idea was based on the thinking that page rankings could be influenced based on the reputation the author has with his/her digital signature. That means that if you are an author who has earned his stripes, chances of you getting a higher score are better when compared to someone who has not.
It is up until June 2001 that this ceased to be an idea. Google started to encourage webmasters to use the rel=’author’ and rel=’me’ tags for every piece of content written. When Google+ came into being, the whole Google Authorship plan seemed to come together since there was a much easier way to connect authors with their content.
The first year looked promising. In fact it looked so promising such that 17% of SERP’s were displaying the rel=author tag. However, it was not the exact case for Authorship. This is because a very big number of users did not bother connecting their content with authorship. Out of an approximated number of 150 authors, 50 did not even have author pages while ¾ did not give attribution to an author.
There were also issues where authors complained that their profiles did not match their Google+ profiles. In one instance, Google wrongly attributed an article to a person who had died 28 years earlier. Others still complained that their content did not contain links where their authorship was present.
The start of the end of Google Authorship
Google decided to end the authorship based on the following reasons:
1) Webmasters and authors did not adopt to it
For one reason or the other, users did not participate as Google hoped they would. Despite the fact that the amount of participants during the first year impressed the search metrics, the numbers did not grow. In fact, if they did not stagnate, they decreased.
2) It provided very low value for searchers
In June this year, Google announced that it would eliminate all author photos from the global search. The main reason given was that there was very little difference in how users clicked on search pages with Authorship snippets when compared to those without. However, this reason came as a shocker to those who believed that they would make a difference.
As you are well aware of, Google is at all times testing search quality. No time will the search engine firm attach a lot of value to a project or experiment that does not add value. However, we also cannot rule out the fact that Google has infinite processing power. Even though there is need to budget wisely for the power, in this case scenario, all signs point out that the Authorship proved that it would not make any returns on investment.
All said and done, Google has and will continue being the giant. In the past, it abandoned projects because they are not matching with its objectives. That is Google for you. If you need a deeper insight into how Google runs its affairs so that you can profit from your webmaster business, then you need to speak to the seo experts. You need to speak to us.