One of the surprising things to come out of Thursday’s Ask the Search Engines session at SMX East was a comment from Gary Illyes regarding authorship… something that many webmasters stopped implementing a year ago after authorship and related photos were dropped from the search results. But looks like you might want to consider adding authorship back.
Gary Illyes made the surprise recommendation to keep including authorship and not remove it if you already have it in place, as Google may use it again in the future.
It was August of 2014 when Google removed authorship from the search results. The authorship schema checker was removed from Google Webmaster Tools (now Search Console) at the same time.
It does definitely raise the question of how Google might use it again in the future. We did see changes over time in how Google was handling authorship, including a major reduction in the number of sites and authors that were displaying authorship in the search results. But the fact that Google is recommending leaving authorship in place definitely makes for some interesting ideas and thoughts on how Google might use this information in the future, if they don’t use it for the traditional authorship in the search results.
Bottom line, don’t remove that authorship if you haven’t gotten around to removing it after Google turned it off last year and you might want to consider including authorship for sites in the future or re-adding it to sites it was removed on.
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