While we were very watchful eye on news from the first day of the I / O 2014 , an analyst Google quietly released a statement that at first seem unimportant, but it reinforces recent evidence that the company is giving less priority to aspects social: the result pages the browser will not display more photos of authors on certain links.
Called Google Authorship, the feature exists since 2012 and is part of an attempt to “humanize” the search results: the photo of the author is accompanied by its respective link on Google+; in view of the company, this information would help make the results more reliable to make it clear who is behind the page content.
There was also the idea that the author of the photo would help to highlight the respective link in the results, but according to John Mueller, an analyst who gave the news, Google found that the average number of clicks on pages with Authorship little or nothing increased – in fact, tests have shown that the removal of the photos improved these indices.
Now, the company alleges that the removal of such photo relates to your effort to leave the results with cleaner look, especially in mobile searches. Change starts into effect today, although it will take a few days to affect all searches.
Despite this decision, Google Authorship will continue to exist, but in a more discreet way: leave the photo of the author and the number that indicates the quantity of circles on Google+, but the person ‘s name will remain appearing in the results with a link to your profile on the social network.
It is a decision that causes some surprise, but not so much by Google Authorship itself: although Google has heavily promoted the idea, the feature is not mandatory and requires the author interested perform some procedures to activate it. In practice, the modification does not affect the quality of searches and that’s what matters.
The surprise comes over Authorship’s relationship with Google+. has yet that Google never acknowledged from the beginning there was the impression that the idea is an indirect way to promote the social network, is the membership of people with influence on the web potential, either by deriving interaction click on the photos – if you admire the work of the author, you may feel motivated to add it to their circles.
Thus, the decision confirms the rumors that Google does not deal more Google+ priority that took shape after Vic Gundotra, the main mind behind the service, left the company.
Another strong indication came from Google I / O: in yesterday’s presentation, attention were focused almost exclusively on the universe Android; there was practically no mention of Google+.
But neither should face the decision as the harbinger of the end of the social network. If it were, it would be a great irony John Mueller reporting the changes just for the service.