Google Authorship -- a feature that displayed author bylines and photos within search results as a means to -- is no more.
The three-year old feature was originally designed to convey author authority and offer a boost in search rankings for sources deemed more trustworthy. Google has been scaling this back for about eight months and announced the complete elimination of this feature in late August, leaving many online marketers wondering what that would mean for search engine optimization.
Truthfully, though, the elimination of Authorship probably wasn't that big of a surprise. Google is constantly evaluating its products and eliminating those that don't perform. And Authorship was ultimately an experiment in display that may have done more for authors' egos than user experience.
What does this change mean for online marketers? Will Google use authorship as a ranking factor in the future -- and if so, how?