Update 12/2/2022: Google has discontinued this rich snippet support, seemingly due to low adoption

Google Authorship has been the most intriguing developments in the search industry for the past couple of years.

With exciting predictions like one that Google will identify “subject authorities” or another one that author-verified results will be ranked higher, it’s obvious that search marketers have been watching it with much anticipation.


So far, despite the bright predictions, Google is obviously struggling, going after the low-hanging fruit (quoting Mark Traphagen) and using domain trust and backlink power and transferring those metrics to Authorship results (thus trying to identify who of the authors deserves a rich snippet, for example).

The good thing we still have NOW is author identities in search results! And it’s already very rewarding! Authors do get a much higher exposure from search results thanks to the authorship-powered rich snippet.

There have been a lot of experiments, so let’s see how Authorship rich snippets have been evolving and changing over time!

The Evolution of Google Authorship Search Snippets


Have I missed any? Please share your screenshot!

[I have also put together the Google Authorship FAQ at SEOchat trying to address most common questions. Please let me know if anything needs to be added to it!]

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and ViralContentBee.com

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  1. The thought of subject authorities is very exciting. State-level identity verification? Less so!

    So, where so publisher”ship” fit into all this? Have there been many changes in Google’s publisher verification, or are we still in phase one?

  2. Hey Matt! I’ll publish the Authirship timeline at IMN blog tomorrow and I’ll link it here! So far it seems to be still a phase 1 though!

  3. Looking forward to reading it.

    I just incorporated publisher verification into every page on Springboard SEO. I’m curious to see how long it will take to see my icon appear in the serps..

  4. Hi Ann
    You really do have a great advantage in the SERPS if you can get your picture next to your listing.

    Obtaining Google Authorshp can be complicated but fortunately I use a Genesis child theme, which makes it very easy to implement.

  5. Pingback: Google Authorship: Notable Events in its History By Ann Smarty
  6. Pingback: How Google Authorship Has Been Evolving - Infographic | Doc Marketing
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  8. Hi Ann,

    Great post denoting the importance of Google authorship. I love the fact that Google is now giving importance sites with Google authorship.

    If I were the case, I’d click on an article with picture (Google authorship) because of the trust factor. I have also studied that articles with Google authorship gives definitive answers to my queries, so I tend to click them more.

  9. Rob Broley says:

    Hi Ann,

    Superb post. I think that authorship will only become a factor in Google offering great content and giving author credit for that great content.

  10. SEO Take Over SK says:

    I dont get the part, where there is no photo on google authorship. 10 – 15% to be dropped, what does that sum up? could you explain it? cause i have seen it many times and didnt understand why. Thought it is because of there was no legitimate photo on the account.

  11. The Google and its new features … are surprising, cutting-edge and truly useful enhancements.

  12. Brilliant post Ann, I really liked it. Would you mind if I shared it on my Twitter account?

    I found it when I was searching for information on Schema markup and rich snippets in Google SERPs

    I understand this is an old post but what are your views on Schema markup and more importantly rich snippets as ranking factors today in 2016?

    I believe they don’t directly affect rankings but that they can play a part in improving CTR, and if your site is optimised for user experience, will only improve your website’s usage metrics such as time spent on site, which may therefore improve your webpages’ rankings.

    Keep up the good work Ann and please get in touch with me soon!

  13. I am with you on that, Carl! I don’t think it’s a ranking factor but it helps a lot!

  14. RIP Google Authorship Snippets!

  15. Still hoping Google brings this back it was amazing to see it in the SERPS

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