(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 schema.org). 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.
Join us for a 4-part web series on making great mobile sites for your small and medium businesses. Learn the correct configurations, go-to tools and optimization strategies to make a big impact on both your customers and search engines. Invite your company's web developers, webmasters, decision-makers and marketers. We'll see you soon!
1. Learn the tools: PageSpeed Insights, Mobile-Friendly Test and Mobile-Usability
2. Bring it in: Viewports, zoom and plugins
3. Focus on the user: Tap targets, margins and font sizes
4. Set it right: Redirects and canonicals
So we've decided to help transfer the data in Freebase to Wikidata, and in mid-2015 we’ll wind down the Freebase service as a standalone project. Freebase has also supported developer access to the data, so before we retire it, we’ll launch a new API for entity search powered by Google's Knowledge Graph.
Loading Freebase into Wikidata as-is wouldn't meet the Wikidata community's guidelines for citation and sourcing of facts -- while a significant portion of the facts in Freebase came from Wikipedia itself, those facts were attributed to Wikipedia and not the actual original non-Wikipedia sources. So we’ll be launching a tool for Wikidata community members to match Freebase assertions to potential citations from either Google Search or our Knowledge Vault, so these individual facts can then be properly loaded to Wikidata.
We believe this is the best first step we can take toward becoming a constructive participant in the Wikidata community, but we’ll look to continually evolve our role to support the goal of a comprehensive open database of common knowledge that anyone can use.
Here are the important dates to know:
Before the end of March 2015
- We’ll launch a Wikidata import review tool
- We’ll announce a transition plan for the Freebase Search API & Suggest Widget to a Knowledge Graph-based solution
March 31, 2015
- Freebase as a service will become read-only
- The website will no longer accept edits
- We’ll retire the MQL write API
June 30, 2015
- We’ll retire the Freebase website and APIs
- The last Freebase data dump will remain available, but developers should check out the Wikidata dump
The Knowledge Graph team at Google
Lots of new and awesome updates. Some highlights:
1. It has site-specific autocomplete. Yes, we suggest queries just for your site.
2. Using schema.org Actions markup, you can tell us where your site site search is located and we'll point the search form there.
schema.org Actions are a very important addition to the world of structured data. You really need to understand them if you haven't dug in yet. The best place to start:
Basically, actions grow structured data beyond simply describing your content into the realm of how users can take actions around/with your content. You saw them last year in GMail (https://developers.google.com/gmail/actions/overview ) so they're not just for websites like the searchAction used for the sitelinks search box we're announcing today.
- Cologne, Germany
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