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I’ve been involved since we first started testing authorship markup and displaying it in search results. 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.)

On a personal note, it's been fun and interesting travelling the road of authorship with all of you. There have been weird quirks, bugs, some spam to fight, but the most rewarding thing has been (and will continue to be) interacting with webmasters themselves. We realize authorship wasn't always easy to implement, and we greatly appreciate the effort you put into continually improving your sites for your users.  Thank you!

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.

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.

As always, we’ll keep expanding and improving the set of free tools we provide to make it easier for you to optimize your sites. Thank you again, and please keep the feedback coming.
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Thanks, +John Mueller. I appreciate the insight. While I think authorship is important for me to help understand authenticity, perhaps my use cases are too limited. Is there another way to keep track of someone's postings and to find out an authentic author or are you just giving up on it as not a productive venture.
+John Mueller will Google still be using authorship schema behind the scenes? are you still processing the data? should we not remove our authorship code?
Think this was pretty inevitable and even made a post about it this morning.
+Barry Schwartz no, we're no longer using it for authorship, we treat it like any other markup on your pages. Leaving it is fine, it won't cause problems (and perhaps your users appreciate being able to find out more about you through your profile too). 
+John Mueller So there's no longer any value to showing Google, via interlinking with our G+ profile, what pieces of work we have published online?
Cool... Great info ??? Does it play at all within the knowledge Graph
For sake of clarity - Does this include publisher markup?
Is it too early to ask or wonder if Google will be looking at other avenues in the future where they will connect authors with their "areas of expertize" and create some sort of trust rank for that author and their published content?  
Dan Thies
It is always a pleasure to participate in Google's tests. Thanks for giving this one a merciful and swift end.
I understand that, +John Mueller. I've just thought that the real value of authorship was the graphing of authors to their work... linked data... more than just an avatar in the SERPs. My question is, does Google no longer care about making that connection between authors and their work? Because if the answer is no, that would seem to signal an abandonment of linked data - something I can't imagine happening.
I don't quite understand the reasoning here:

"this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results" vs "in our tests, removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads."

- if it makes no difference to which results are clicked on, what is the observable distraction metric? 'time to click' (which I guess shorter/longer could both be perceived as good)? something else?
Now, THAT is really interesting!
+William Rock I can always count on you to keep me up to speed on the really important things.

Thanks +John Mueller for the information...and the experience. It was fun while it lasted!
Can we now go back to using Author tag the way schema documents?

"author - Person or Organization 
The author of this content. Please note that author is special in that HTML 5 provides a special mechanism for indicating authorship via the rel tag. That is equivalent to this and may be used interchangeably."
It seems like G+ is slowly being dismantled...
Bill Slawski
The point behind Agent Rank wasn't to get author's photos in search results, and I'm hard pressed to think that was ever something that someone thought would get more clicks, especially if the best or most trusted or most reputable content was written by a stranger.
Dan Shure
+John Mueller To reiterate what some others seem to be wondering - is this purely a complete UX / SERP removal of authorship? Or is this also a complete shutting down of using any data ever associated with the authorship program?
+Bill Slawski I've had countless discussions over the years about the difference between authorship and the Google Authorship Display system.

To me the Google Authorship Display system was always a gimmick to entice people to Google+

Big question for me now is , is there still a value in authorship?
So I can go back to calling it Agent Rank again? :)
+Dan Shure we're no longer processing this data -- it's not just a UI change. 
Entity Type: Entity?

That might get confusing. Easier to go back to Agent. :)
Thank you +John Mueller for the post explaining the decision, and just to be absolutely clear, this applies to all forms of search, including personalized search, when users are logged into their Google accounts? Would I be correct if I were to understand that Google+ posts will continue to appear with the profile photos on personalized search, but no external entities linked to Google+ profiles as authors (authorship) on Google+ will carry any weight irrespective of any social connections on Google+?

[Added: I didn't see John's earlier response when I posted] Oh, no longer processing the data. Then that's quite clear.
+John Mueller so if it didn't affect the results either way-- why get rid of them? Did it not make search results better to look at? And I know for me-- when I saw an author I recognized I immediately clicked there first. 

This just seems like a stupid move. I love you Google, but I am not happy with this choice. 
Its going now very interesting :)
AJ Kohn
So you're not maintaining the data anywhere +John Mueller? I totally get not surfacing it in results nor providing a tool to track the data but not using the mark-up at all? 

Does that mean it will no longer provide Authorship validation via the Structured Data Testing Tool? 
+AJ Kohn yes, it'll be removed from the Structured Data Testing Tool too (I'm not sure on the timing for that, I don't see it for my blog posts anymore already). 
AJ Kohn
Good to know +John Mueller. Thanks. 

And ... "no longer processing this data" means Google isn't parsing authorship mark-up as a form of structured data .... meaning it will not even be used as part of entity extraction.  
+John Mueller Nice to know you guys are still showing Google+ posts in search results, always liked that feature. As for Authorship, I guess the only reason we all implemented it was in hopes of scoring brownie points with Google, lol. But there's also the added benefit of giving users the ability to check out our profiles as you mentioned. So the links still have some use.
Matt Cutts:

So John, if you could just announce this list of the most unpopular search changes we've ever contemplated while I'm gone...

That would be really great!

<Boy are they gonna love me when I get back.>
+Daniel Imbellino we should make sure folks understand that Google+ posts with author attribution show up in personalized (logged in) search, not global search.
+John Mueller if I got it right, saying that you dropped the authorship  should not mean that you vanished from your supported markup elements the microformat rel=author. Correct?
I'm curious about the distinction between Google+ and Google. Authorship + Google = Bad. Authorship + Google+ = Good?
+John Britsios  +John Mueller already answered that above. They are no longer making any use of rel=author, though they continue to support and encourage many other forms of schema markup.
As a member of the  we try to sift thru the reasoning behind what is not said. One thing I did not note is how Google felt authorship in your words  " information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results"  +John Mueller How did you hope it woulld be useful? How did it fall short? How did it distract from search results? 
AJ Kohn
Not to speak for +John Mueller but if you're interested in how Google might evaluate these things in search you should take a look at the following paper:

It's about social annotations in search and it led to removing those small faces you used to see under search results. 

It's fairly easy to think about how Google would replicate this type of research and find the same sort of 'i don't notice it but when I do I wrinkle my brow' reaction. 
+Anthony Castelli I think it was a fair move of Google. The time, efforts and resources required to keep that feature healthy and efficient to serve its purpose made the whole thing worthless/redundant.

That does not mean that I will discontinue using that microformat, which I am using before the search engines spelled out loud the microformat rel=author.

Just an example: Think about people adding the author microformat on every page on a site. On shops with only a product name, price and SKU and no content, signing as an author.

Personally I am for Googles decision. IMO a very intelligent move, until Google will think about something pretty cool again, and the SEO industry will screw it up too. ;)

+John Mueller you asked for some feedback.

Mine would be to change back to the original purpose of the use of the rel=nofollow microformat and use for passing or not passing PageRank, etc the microformats rel=vote-for, rel=vote-against and rel=vote-abstain.

+Mark Traphagen Good point. I shared this post to Strategic but didnt think to mention that, will go back and update it.
Feedback - Open Language Extraction and a prior data fusion combined with it. :)
Good gosh....and I just got it all done for some new clients.....sigh.....oh well, back to the drawing board! Thanks tho John, for your openess on this!
+Anthony Castelli +Mark Traphagen & +Eric Enge  laid it out pretty well here:  Low / inconsistent usage / implementation across niches means that universally it didn't have the intended effect of highlighting content written by familiar authors.  In legal it was widely used because the niche is very competitive everyone looks for any advantage they can get.  To be honest, I follow many people and I can only think of two times since authorship images came out that it actually influenced my selection at all.  Ironically enough, one of the two was +Mark Traphagen :-)  
How To Add Google Authorship To Your Website
Step 1. Create a Google+ account and verify your email address.

It's genius. Whoever proposed it deserves a raise.
This really makes no sense. People are openly gaming the system by using unnatural links, and yet authorship (which seemed to make the most sense) gets scrapped. To me...if you wanted to replace links as a ranking signal, then authorship would be surely be something worth considering. +Barry Schwartz publishing content about SEO ..probably very interesting....+Barry talking about baking cookies....probably not so. Not sure I understand this decision at all. This has now turned out to be huge waste of time for anyone working in this space.
+John Romaine in an ideal world what you say would be true. The problem was that the authorship world Google had after three years was far from ideal. In many content verticals very few people were using authorship, whereas in others (looking at you Law and Real Estate) people were falling over each other to game it any way they could.

Not a signal Google could really use.
Translation: We used this to force tons of SEOs and Webmasters to A) join google+ even though they mostly didn't want to and B) link to us. Then once our carrot dangling game had run it's course we turned it off hoping we could keep all the free links and users we got through sheer momentum and laziness on the part of those same SEO's and webmasters. Super lame. On the bright side I can finally cancel this worthless G+ account and advise my clients to do the same. YAY! 
+Mark Traphagen I do not tend to believe that the authorship was far from ideal for Google. Reading such claims or arguments clearly tell me that those persons could only scratch the surface of the intent and the cause of Googles action.

I do not deny that Google may have dropped the project now because they did not want to invest any further. But why? They fail? I do not think so. I believe they gathered the data/information or whatever else they needed to be able to feed their machine learning technologies and to be able move on and grow independently without our help, like the rich snippets markup or profile pics in the search results.

I see the authorship story like every other algorithm. Once Google sees that an algorithm is mature and stable enough, they push it into the everflux and discussions get buried, until someone opens the box and start bitching about a drop in his rankings or receives a manual action notification.

Lets take for example Panda. I feel it is almost there where Google will stop announcing updates of different versions. When that happens, it should tell us that it is then mature/stable/safe, but not dead! The same shall follow with other algos like Penguin, EMD, PMD, Emmanuel, Top Heavy, etc.

Unfortunately I already see around how several people picked up this authorship story and are trying again based on delusional based studies and statistics to show off and raise another wave of misconceptions leading to another misleading bomb, but which will not last long anyway, because I am pretty sure AgentRank will be the next balloon party, if Google does not come up soon with a new animal.

So to keep this short, which is that person with the required resources outside of Google who can tell what was behind that plan and if they achieved what they wanted, and if they had benefits or losses? In my opinion such illusions give another boost to the bad reputation of the SEO industry. But why care? There are new definitions found with the intention to hide the forest behind the trees which I explain here

So who can bet on a claim that Google had a loss or fail on their experiment?

Maybe because I am an addicted semantic search professional I see these things from a different angle or perspective? 
Bottom line is guys - don't build your business around Google. Diversify.
Infact, without authorship, I really have no need for Google Plus. #ditch  
+Mark Traphagen you can make the same argument about all signals Google uses. Some verticals abuse them, some ignore them
There are plenty other Google tools that surely deserve the same treatment. Reviews come to mind. Don't see any value there at all. Yet that seems to clog up the first page.
+John Romaine I personally feel very confident with building up a business around Google, even without diversifying, but which I would not necessary go that path if I find an avenue for extra income.

If your advise is about people who are not confident dealing with the requirements of Google, I agree that they should not put all their eggs in one basket.

Personally even if Google does not display any longer authorship badges in the search results, for me it is not a good reason enough to ignore the potential benefits of Google Plus.

And as a consumer, I do not agree that reviews from trusted resources must be dropped from the search results. If you mean the rich snippets (ratings/reviews) of low quality or untrusted sites, then I fully agree with you, and that just because they are also abused or wrongly marked up, which leads to worse scenarios than from those images with our faces.
good decision for improvement of user experience
Of was good for my like local site. If it was not for authorship people would not have known that I was running it. Parents from the local school often stop to talk to me about the site because they saw my name attached to pages in search.
In a better, closer to ideal world you wouldn't be such a piece of shit monopoly company, though ...
Hi +John Mueller , just let me understand this clearly:

1) The known concept of "Authorship" is obsolete - ok, got that.
2) Will rel=publisher still be used for e.g. support of brand search queries?
I'm quite sad to see authorship coming to an end, in a world which is increasingly becoming dominated by content marketing strategies it just feels wrong to not use something that could potentially give an insight as to the authority of the piece. On the other writing for a number of different verticals I've been concerned about how Google perceives my own authority.
I so sad because google give up authorship 
Here's a strange question: If this truly is distracting, why do Google+ posts still have authorship links/headshots in SERPs?
It´s a pity! I think it is a bad news for current and professional people because with authorship we can get a better image on Internet and improve our personal branding. Just I hope that this measure has not changes on SERPs! 
I was under the impression this was already underway. I have witnessed authorship displaying in weeks. Im interested to see what other ideas you plan to implement, as I was quite fond of authorship. Interesting that indicated the markup "may" still show relevance in SERPS, and not to the user. Many may attempt to take the inch and create a mile. I will be observing this over the next few months. I truly appreciate your help and incite. 
All fine... how can I forget when Google remove Photo and Circle count and Now here is another big story...... Why Now Google Disable Authorship .... Why not at the time of disabling Photo and Circle Count ... It seems may be Google is coming with big update..... Let see Now happens ....
Hay guys, Google just another company working towards their success, maybe it's time for you guys to start working towards your own success and not depend on Google by any means?
Also make sure not to limit your success to one source. 
I want to ask John a direct question and would like a straight answer please so we can ensure we are giving our clients the correct advice - we only ever engage in white hat techniques.

In the past when I client asked us " I'm I correct in say, if we publish an article on our blog (with the correct author tag to our Google+ account) and then republish that as a LinkedIn Post (cross referenced correctly with the same author tag) Google Search would NOT see this as duplicate content, or if what we had written was picked up and re-published in an industry magazine, with the correct author tag, is this a good thing" - we would have said yes!!

But if author tags are no longer being used by SERPS,  should we now be saying no, because we've gone back to the old world of such recognition by legitimate publishers rather than adding to an authors authority would destroy it as Google would simply see it as duplicate content?

We just need a Yes or No answer as what seemed to be clear cut, from what we've been reading is now as clear as mud!!
Hopefully, it will reduce the number of fake profiles on Google Plus  :v
I don't get what is this about? is it authenticity?
I could learn a very important lesson from this. ALWAYS keep an eye on Google Plus =), Misters +Barry Schwartz , +Bill Slawski and +AJ Kohn , they kind of clarified the announcement of Mr. +John Mueller with their questions and answers. Doubt: is the authority of the author of a content also important in relation to other factors determined by the algorithm that say a content is valuable to the user?
Thanks +John Mueller for breaking the news. I really loved the personal touch the photos in search results gave me and preferred to go to those sources which felt for me more trustful. I understand that when on the other side the user policy was weakened (I hoped it would become an industry leading digital passport) it is not possible to keep this up. Anyways the weekly office hours of you and your team are an outstanding effort of you and your team. Please keep them going. Thanks. Danke. Servus. Gruezi.
I'm finally not that surprised. I was upset when the images were removed and the death of authorship seems kind of logical to me. It doesn't really affect me anymore (I started investing more time in other social medias to reduce the Google dependency since the previous change).
However, I'm still wondering if  the links towards our websites where we contribute as authors have now absolutly no value. Basically, is Google + has lost all its SEO interest? I found the idea of having reconizable author an very interesting idea.
+Deb Dulal Dey The vast majority of fake profiles on G+ are because Google forced Youtube users to sign up to G+, and these users don't actually use G+.
John would it be safe to say we should delete the Google Authorship tag from our web site?  Is it at all relevant to keep it?
+Garry Grant We ignore it - you don't need to keep it from our point of view. You're welcome to keep it for users or other purposes, it won't cause problems on our side, but it also doesn't do anything on our side.
Thanks for the Quick Reply John, I will spread the word!
It seems logical to me that this big google+ project will die. Google, you blackmailed us into joining your 'social network' by implying that using authorship markup would one day affect ranking (I bet at least 60% of the people on Google + are there because of authorship and the supposed benefits of using it). Now you've had to backtrack and remove authorship because guess what: it's been abused with fake profiles - spammers have got on board. You kind of opened the spam-gates wide with this one. Good idea in theory though, just a shame that human nature means ideas like this will never work! 
Please, please stop launching gargantuan direction shifts, then saying things like, “it's been fun and interesting travelling the road of authorship with all of you....” and then nixing them! You guys own the world, and you destroy your cred when you do this stuff. 
When will Google stop wasting our time? Every time webmasters and bloggers need to adapt to novelty it wastes our time . 'Do this and this in order to rank better in search results' or in cases like this 'remove stuff that is now useless'. With passage of time you expect us to adapt more and more, and waste even more time. Oh but 'we care for our users'. When will you start caring more about content creators? You know, people who produce quality which attracts swarms of users and gives you sweet $ from ads? How about you start paying language experts for improving Google Translate? How about you start appreciating our work on structured markup coding in a more concrete way, cause let's face it, your algorithms benefit from this more than we do actually - essentially we're the ones organizing meaningless information for you. Or do you still plan on leeching other people's work and intellect?

If so more and more of us will start looking for better ways and products to express ourselves. All those geniuses you guys hire can't explain to you that people fucking hate being manipulated and used? Either stop turning into an ugly corporate exploiter or start preparing for a paradigm shift. Cause you aren't 'too big to fail'. Once you turn the masses against you, ta ta stocks!

P.S. You lot should stop that shitty development along the lines of 'customizing user experience'. I don't want to see only the things I like or showed interest in in search results. I also want to see things that are annoying at first and bump into stuff which is completely novel and unexpected. Google can not know what I will like in the future if I have never experienced it before. Stop tailoring our search results and confining the flow of information. Unless your goal is to confine our minds.
So is there any reason to continue to link the sites that we write on to our Google+ Profiles?
I just recently add authorship.  All for nothing.  So frustrating to constantly have to do everything differently.  It's no wonder I struggle.
The might Google GIVETH and the might Google TAKETH AWAY.

So frustrating.
+David Portney  - That was the first thing I thought of too...  (well right after "G*dammit are you Fing kidding me?")  Does it apply to "publisher" markup. Nice to hear that it doesn't - at least not yet...  
All that time spent on authorship code was wasted. I'm a web developer of 15 years and stock holder who is fed up with this company. No dividends, a scam stock split, millions of dollars wasted on mystery barges, Page and Brin's personal search for immortality, etc.

I could go on and on about the well-documented less-than-honorable traits of the leaders of the company leaders but for all I know, my web sites would take a hit for voicing my opinions here. Even with this muted response, I could still be punished.

Every new twist and turn is bad news from this crew of riddlers. Even though I still own my googl voting shares after selling off the non-voting goog shares, I'll be voting with my feet and changing my default search in all my browsers to Duck Duck Go.
wow deep breath, well for this to work everyone really needed to be on G+ otherwise it is a skewed kind of inside sep tech setup, just picking my jaw off the floor with this. Thx Google for keeping the life of a #seo   so interesting. +John Mueller +Rand Fishkin +Eric Enge +Mark Traphagen 
It almost seems like a structure follows strategy sort of play. Google steered towards blogs having a decent author directory and pointed the way with rel=aurthor -> rel=me structure or 3 link authorship. Defacto this results in all mayor blogs have such an author bio / article listing page.

This is great for crawling and ranking authors:
count all in links to the author profile page
add all the PageRank for each of the internal links to the profile
calculate the relative share of articles the author contributed

Then if the relative share of articles is relatively small to the relative share in pagerank for all the articles of an author then we can assume that the author has an above average popularity or rank on that domain.

Take all the cat/tag folder names, titles etc for the articles of an author and presto the author has a field of expertise. 

Can it be that simple?
This makes no sense. No offense.
Is there  still a benefit to posting on G+ ?
So happy to hear that I spent hours and hours trying to get authorship to work to only find out it wasn't worth the time and is now canned. #thnxgoogle  
+John Mueller I were enthusiastically applying the authorship to blog post generally of mine and others and also telling others to to join Google+ if they want to show their headshot and G+ profile links in SERP. And many a joined too. Ha Ha.

But actually I knew it was distracting us. Several time I searched for something but clicked on profile image or the google+ link. Thanks that you got rid of this childish experiments.

But I do implement rel=author wherever possible and hope this will actually link all the good creation of a creator.
You know, we try to ignore the fact that without us content creators, Google has no business!
Think outside the rat race circle!
Do what works for you not Google!
Google only cares about their business and you should care about your business only, overall we are all here to make money otherwise you would not be here to read this post/comment?
Traffic, traffic, traffic is the only thing that we want from Google, right?
Good back links (no spam) is the only easy way to get on page one in Google, stop wasting your time and get on that now!
I honestly did not get why those faces would help in the ser to me. I would love to search like : Product=car min-price=1000 max-price<4000 circle=50miles from=Londonderry avg-mpg>40 local=GB ... all these through an advanced menu of course ;)
I wonder how many millions of hours were spent by the webmasters of the world - and others -  studying and implementing authorship markup. Tens of millions? Maybe hundreds? That's ONE HECK of an opportunity cost.

Just a random thought. I'm relatively new to all this and had no real horse in the authorship markup "race", so to speak.
I think where Don Sheldon and Barry Schwartz both bring to light is the import of the integrity of both content results and the actual author (whether personal or branded), of the content. From a consumer perspective both items are important to me. From a privacy side (including propietary), I could appriciate the markup not being mandatory requirement to use the service. But I definitely do the inherent value in searching sites - or seeking authors of sites - and being sure that the two line up. While it may not have made a noticable difference in click-thru or abandon rates, it does make me wonder about the consumer-centric satisfaction /confidence metric. (And I am also a technically oriented user, which increases my intent on ensure that destination selected, designsting a connection to author, ceeator, manufacturer, professional colleague is * really connected, or part of the intended destination and not cloaked as someone, or something else. This type of transparency - it seems to md - would also be a way for the consumer to recognize /mitigate a malicious entity-in-the-middle attack, from a B2B collaboration. For this end user focused on collaborations around specific projects, knowing and understanding who (and why) the existing partners in the design/product, or web-service-chain would be a something I, as a professionally focused consumer, if given the option, I would select the process as value-add feature. For me, it speaks to a kind of reciprocal trust, building in a process for mutual recognition in a time when not providing a customer-centric transparency could come to mean lost customers. As a business professional, I am now engaged to learn more about techincal aspects, and business requirements (and predictions/desires built into this project.

[Disclaimer: I come to the discussion not involved, or prevously aware of this group, or this particular functional or logistical details of this test project. My opinions are my own, and do not reflect any official position my employer has/may have on this matter.]
Just where am I suppose to get my validation now. [Back to therapy]
I'm very disappointed in this decision by #Google . Perhaps the main reason for Authorship to fail was its complication to implement. A better design of the feature and some studying, testing before launching it would have saved us hundreds of hours of research and work to make our clients #Authorship   compliant. With Authorship gone, I don't see a future for +Google+. 
In this announcement I keep hearing that showing authorship is somehow "confusing" to users...but I don't understand/see any explanation about how/why that would be the case?
really authorship does not increase website traffic, i experienced it, so what's next?
As Google tries to a solution to coming up with "Good" search results, I can't believe that with all the time and money spent on " #Authorship ", by Google,  that they would let it fall "without a net".
Google has stated that they want Content to be the driving force behind search results, in a conversational manner.
 I feel that some form of  "Authorship" will re emerge, at some point, as Google fine tunes the Content parameters.
The best way to overcome Algorithm  Changes is to use Google, and other Social Media/ Search platforms for what the truly are....Advertising Companies.
Buy Ads and work on SEO that is proven, Backlinks will eventually have a lesser effect on SERPs ( see Matt Cutts), and view  SERPS / SEM as a long term goal, to off set ad spend % in the future,
One will never "out game" Google ( the house always wins), so do not try.
Hey +John Mueller, is Authorship going away in part because your Agent Rank algos no longer require it to track an author's materials? Thanks in advance!!
Will Structured Data be removed from Google Webmaster Tools?
Google Authorship was one of the things that gave me hope for authors and the little guy.  Sounds like it is back to big corporations and websites with a significant following being featured, while the the little author get little or no recognition for their work.  Google Authorship could have given authors more recognition and leverage for their work.  But instead, it is back to giving all the recognition to the companies again.  I am very disappointed in you.
I feel like Google wasted a ton of my and my peoples time :/
Say Mr. Mueller, I have to report that it was the Google Authorship system which allowed two of my long posts on the then-upcoming Godzilla movie to gain page 1 ranking in search.  My photo showed up along side the content listing. 
+Zennie Abraham authorship was not used for ranking (apart from being used in the "in-depth articles" feature), so authorship would not have been the reason for your post to rise to page one. Maybe it was just a great post? :)
+John Mueller When are you next refreshing penguin? My websites (most notably were hit by this update and I've since disavowed any possible negative links to no avail. I assume a refresh of the algorithm is needed. This update forced me to move from my home because my website didn't show up for even the most trivial of keywords.

Don't forget the little guy.
Thanks to Google's new updates, it is easy to get your competitors banned.  Simply link to them from garbage websites.  The new black hat SEO is not linking to your own website, but linking to your competitors in such a way they get banned.  Google didn't really think this last update through.  Innocent webmasters are getting harmed.
+Scott M Stolz "new updates" - don't you mean penguin? Because that's ultimately what it did and continues to do. That was back in 2012, though.

After I paid for sophisticated SEO analysis software to see what was going on, I found that this is one of the reasons why I had my sites penalized.

I'd appreciate +John Mueller 's feedback on this issue.
Authorship has nothing to do with Penguin (or our other websearch algorithms apart from "in-depth articles), so I think you're mixing something up there. I'm happy to take a look at your site, +Rich Powell, but I'd suggest doing that in a separate thread :).
I know Penguin is not related to Google Authorship, and was just replying to +Rich Powell 's post. But Penguin and eliminating Google Authorship are all part of Google's missteps in recent years.
+Scott M Stolz I guess it's all part of Google's ongoing attempt to serve the user based on statistics. If they have the evidence in statistics that authorship didn't benefit webmasters (traffic-wise, as John pointed out) and leaned towards a distraction for users then I guess it's for the best. I, for one, as a webmaster, think that Authorship in listings was a step forward.

Penguin, however, as a recipient of the negative end of the effects, was a total disaster - especially for small businesses such as myself. Sure, it nailed some bad offenders and they should rightly go. I absolutely despise black-hat SEO and spam. I, on the other hand, put alot of effort into making my websites a positive experience for the user and feel that I didn't deserve the penalties that I received at all. My relevant, user-friendly, fact-checked, unique-content-rich website has now been superseded by Tumblr or Tumblr-esque websites that have close to no content. They're just a bunch of images with no further information. It's crazy really.

I did directory submissions a few years ago and I think that's one of the main things that got me with Penguin, but I also noticed stranger links when I checked with CognitiveSEO (which is not cheap, but I was desperate), which I think is an example of negative SEO being directed towards me. Still, after changing my website beyond recognition, reducing any sign of keyword density, etc, and disavowing quantities of minutely negative links, I've seen no change in my rankings. What do I have to do to regain my Google rankings?

There's nothing more that I can do after reading countless Penguin and Panda SEO todo-related articles and forum posts.
And what about the human effect?  You get whatever you measure.  What is Google actually measuring?  They certainly are not measuring the economic, social and emotional effects they are having on webmasters and people who use their service. They are measuring clicks, and bounce rates, and revenue per click.  

Google Authorship had the opportunity to level the playing field for content creators.  Instead, they decided to back the big players, either on purpose or through simply by neglecting to see the human effect.  Sad really.

+Rich Powell, I am afraid to say, if they do not open their eyes and realize the human impact, eventually you will only be able to buy your way to the top of the rankings, either by paying a really good SEO staff, or paying Google directly.
+Scott M Stolz Honestly, I don't disagree with you at all. I can relate to all three of the effects on webmasters that you specified. You know what bugs me? Some people say "don't bother focusing on Google". The problem is, Google was such an integral part of my traffic and it remains the largest search engine in the world that most people use as their go-to for lots of things. So here I am, ever searching for solutions to the problem.

One query though: how are they backing the big players by removing Authorship?
+Rich Powell Google Authorship could have leveled the playing field for the actual content creators, but without it, we go back to a domain and brand-centric look at the internet, where websites with an SEO staff can easily outrank anyone else.  Google Authorship would have allowed the transfer of authority to other less-popular websites, via Google Authorship.  So if a freelance author writes a post for a big website, Google may notice that the author is pretty good, and boost the rankings of other websites the author is a part of.  It allows the little guy to get recognition for their work, regardless of whether they post on a new website or a huge website.
Disapointing. You've forced us (de facto because you have the monopoly on this market) to produce a lot of work and now, all our efforts are thrown into the bin... Hope another actor will soon arrive to make you more reasonable and to focus on the search quality again, not on your products.
It is need for authorship in google plus but now it is end  not good for us .
I'm ambivalent about Google removing authorship search embellishments, but bummed that they aren't interpreting rel="author" as a quality signal.

I'm wondering why more people don't just start adding schema markup with the author property to their posts? Google keeps reiterating that they pay attention to schema (and other semantic markup).  If author attribution is really relevant, they'll start paying attention to it (again). 
You know, John, the only thing I didn't like about authorship was that it carried the "Google" name in it. I've never wanted a proprietary/centralized tool to aggregate data about the content I produce.

However, I would love to see an open source authorship project that uses something like fullname+email+publicID to identify the author plus another key to verify the ID. :)

I have the idea but not the knowledge to implement it, alas.
Don't worry +Lou SEO, Google may totally not realize the importance of this underserved aspect of content creation, but many of us do.  Authorship will survive, even if Google abandons it.
So, from Now onwards what is the Role of G+ in ranking??

can anyone help me
They won't reveal the exact nature.  My guess is that it is a minor indicator, and it allows them to discover new content, much like a crawler would.  John did mention that you will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages you follow, so there is a chance of additional exposure if someone is following you.
+John Mueller I think you guys need to reconsider authorship as an additional indicator, and nurture it so that you are less dependent on links as indicators.  You need a much more diversified algorithm that becomes harder to game because there will be more moving parts.  Authorship could have been one of many new additional indicators used to detect spam and indicate quality.  I am sorry to see it go.  The pretty pictures in the search results were cute, but the bigger picture should be getting better search results.  And I think you are missing a huge opportunity here.
Sorry for late Reply,,, I got this information so late,,,  I think it is very strict algorithm .. I agreed to M Stolz,,, he is right the opportunity to follow we could missed  ...                                                                                                                                              
Anything that Google does and has the ability to be abused by those working in the SEO industry will eventually be devalued. To those above - its ALL your fault!
+Sam Swanson, with that attitude, Google should just shut down the company. Many of us, like me, used it as intended. We wrote good content that we were proud to put our real name on. Not everyone abuses the system, and there always will be some who cheat. Unfortunately that is part of launching any online service. I still think it gave more benefit than harm, and think Google could have used authorship to better detect patterns of spam as well as detect quality content.
Is there any way to do visible authorship image in search result? previously it was a good one to easily find out, but now it is difficult...
Thanks +John Mueller What will be best way now to keep our content associated with our authorship?
On our blog, we still link to the profiles. Whatever works for your site, it's not something that we'd require for websearch, it's essentially for your users.
+John Mueller (Sorry for my English, I'm juste an humble French... :D)
If authorship is over, what about a possible Author Rank? Google can not establish paternity between an author and web pages without authorship and thus calculate a potential Author Rank.
I found this patent very interesting (I like the invented system : about a hypothetical author score. Could it be applied with the Rich Snippets and without authorship?
Still i am facing Authorship  results, the algorithm announced on a month before . Does any one know what is the accurate  duration time period where all SERP results will be remove ever.
+John Mueller ,  After panda rolling out,, my posts does not appear in google search and my organic traffic are drastically down. So How Can I now the reason of these ?
Google Authorship was a Google trick on the SEO community in order to promote Google+  versus the rise of FaceBook. I know it and you know it.
+John Mueller I am no longer seeing google+ results in google searches.  Is that a permanent change?
Can u stop being my friend in Google plus
(PS:it me Jonathan from your friends from Google+ I'm not your friend bitch please 🙅🙅
I don't understand why the authorship photos were not just kept as an option in google search (perhaps being off by default) where users could turn on authorship ranking if they had the desire, or turn the option off if they felt the icons were annoying.
Can someone help me? Is it possible to search the posts that I replied, in Google+ ?? I try to google this, but unfortunately I found no useful info.
+Anna Nadel​ I saw your post in digital marketing community about authorship and I think you might want to check this one
I noticed every time I make a Google plus post, my SERP drops in position. I am thinking I should drop authorship also. Any suggestions? 
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