Google announced Thursday that its search results will no longer display the names of authors associated with presented articles.
"Authorship markup is no longer supported in Web search," Google announced on the company's official authorship support page. Launched in 2011, the feature was intended to allow writers to claim their content and gain followers by presenting the author's work in search results. An Author Rank feature also promised to help users filter out useless information by scoring the reputation of the author for providing reliable information.
But after a three-year experiment, the Web search giant concluded that the feature wasn't as valuable to readers as it had hoped and sometimes even posed a distraction, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller wrote in a Google+ post Thursday.
"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," Mueller wrote. "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."
Mueller said that Google testing had concluded that removal of author information did not appear to reduce traffic to websites nor increase clicks on ads. He added that the change will not affect Google+ posts from friends when they are relevant to users' search queries.
Google has been gradually moving in this direction for the past couple of months. In June, the company removed Google+ profile photos and Google+ follower count numbers from search results.