Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

The Implications for Bloggers Now That Google Authorship Has Ended The three-year effort has been terminated but key elements for stopping plagiarism and ranking articles remain.

By Brett Relander Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Google Authorship has come to an end. It had the feature that loaded author photos alongside search results. If you are puzzled about your happy mug missing from the search pages, don't be. Google decided to drop the profile picture and Google+ view counts for authors from search listings because there was no significant value from having these features. Since the end of August, all Google authorship users experienced this change.

Google Authorship was launched in 2011 with three objectives of: granting authors the opportunity to connect with their content on the web, enabling a process of author verification and rewarding authority content. From its inception, this well-intentioned program encountered adoption issues.

Related: SEO Strategies: How 'Rich Snippets' Can Improve Your Web Traffic

Research by Google showed that Google Authorship wasn't returning enough value relative to the effort and resources it took to process the data. Recent data from Stone Temple Consulting showed that more than 70 percent of the authors didn't take ownership of their content via Google Authorship. The data also indicated no significant difference in "click behavior" with the implementation of Google Authorship.

Since Google Authorship didn't take off as Google had expected, it forced the company to sever ties with rel="author". That photos take up valuable screen space on mobile search pages didn't help matters. Early warning signs were there by December 2013, when Google scaled back authorship, ostensibly to ensure good quality and relevant results.

While Google Authorship did not fulfill its potential, it cemented the idea of content authenticity that Google terms "Author Rank'' to reward authors based on their readership and online followers. Google supports structured markup so that search engines can better grasp the relationship between content on a page and the search terms entered. Google will also continue to display rich snippets along with search results. Although strong and well-received content has always been central to ranking high, Google Authorship was a nice add-on while it lasted.

Related: The SEO Gray Area Isn't So Gray Anymore: What It Means for Your Strategy

In a sense, Google Authorship hasn't gone away. It's still here. Search results will continue to show author names and link them to the author's profile page. You will still need to verify authorship via email or connecting your content to your Google + profile. Even if your photo doesn't show up, there are still valid reasons for taking advantage of Google Authorship. The system continues to remain useful for verifying content ownership and preventing plagiarism. More importantly, it allows you to be prepared for the future when Author Rank becomes a certified ranking factor.

Google's Author Rank is here to stay, though it still requires refinement. For bloggers, wisdom and foresight dictate that one should be on the right side of anything that has to do with Author Rank.

Related: How Google 'Author Markup' Can Help Protect Your Content and Build Your Brand

Brett Relander

Managing Director at X1 Sports Nutrition

Brett Relander is founder and managing director of X1 Sports Nutrition (http://X1Fuel.com). He has a degree in exercise science, is certified as a Master Fitness Specialist and in the biomechanics of resistance training, and is an advocate of all-natural nutrition and advanced performance training.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Social Media

How To Start a Youtube Channel: Step-by-Step Guide

YouTube can be a valuable way to grow your audience. If you're ready to create content, read more about starting a business YouTube Channel.

Growing a Business

Want to Expand Your Market Overseas? Here's Everything You Need to Know About Global Logistics in 2024

With rising geopolitical tensions and changing market conditions it can be hard for businesses to navigate supply chain logistics even in a post-pandemic world. Here are three tips from the CEO of an international customs brokerage.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Elvis Presley's Granddaughter Fights Graceland Foreclosure, Calls Paperwork 'Forgeries'

The 13.8-acre estate was scheduled to be sold in a public foreclosure auction on Thursday. Presley's granddaughter and heir, Riley Keough, is fighting to save Graceland in court.

Business News

Kickstarter Is Opening Up Its Platform to Creators and Making Big Changes to Its Model — Here's What's New

The company noted it is moving beyond traditional crowdfunding and making it easier for businesses to raise more money.

Business News

Target Is Lowering Prices on Thousands of Items — Here's Where You Can Expect to Save

The news was announced ahead of Target's Q1 2024 earnings call, expected to occur Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST.