For those of you who like keeping up to date with the latest Google trends, you would have noticed that Google removed its authorship feature back in June. Since, many have wondered why Google would do such a thing. Well, there are many reasons Google removed this feature, as Google noticed there would be far greater benefits from removing the feature, than by keeping it.
According to Google's very own John Mueller, “We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices. As a part of this, we’re simplifying the way authorship is shown in mobile and desktop search results, removing the profile photo and circle count. Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.”
Ultimately, Google authorship photos were removed as a result of dozens of tests resulting in an increased CTR in search results displaying the photo. In addition removing the authorship photos would also increase the CTR on paid ads. Thus, with the authorship images removed, users would be more likely to click the ads at the top of the search results, rather than click the colorful pictures next to the results. In turn, this would ultimately increase Google's ad revenue, which also happens to be Google's largest form of revenue.
Another reason the authorship photos were removed has to do with Google's mobile design. With authorship photos, it seemed to take up too much space on mobile search results, where additional text could have existed. Without Google authorship photos, this leaves plenty more room for text.
Finally, we should not that even without Google authorship photos, it is important to continue pushing quality content onto our websites, and sharing it on our Google Plus profiles. This will ultimately help your website and/or brand more than Google authorship ever would.