Google search results will not display names of authors associated with articles anymore, bringing an end to the company's Authorship experiment. The search giant had already stopped showing the Google+ profile photos and Google+ follower count numbers in late June.
"Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search", the company announced on its official authorship support page.
Google first unveiled its plan for authorship markup in June 2011. The idea behind the experiment was to allow authors to link their published content to their Google+ profile, allowing users to identify quality content creators and authors to gain followers.
But after a three-year experiment, the Mountain View, California-based company has concluded that the program wasn't as useful to their users as they’d hoped, and "can even distract from those results", Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller wrote in a Google+ post.
Muller noted that Authorship didn’t increase the traffic to articles, so its removal shouldn't cause a dip in traffic either. He also said that the change doesn’t impact other social features, as the search engine will continue showing Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query, both in the main results, and on the right-hand side.
The news comes just a few months after senior vice president and head of Google+, Vic Gundotra, parted ways with the company after nearly eight years on the job.