Authorship in Google search results is one of the primary reasons that many in the media are on Google+. The ability to put your name and face next to articles that you wrote — as shown below — is seen as an opportunity to get more traffic from search results.
Not for much longer. Google is removing images from authorship, though search results will still include the name of the author and a link to their Google+ profile. Another detail being removed is the number of circles an author is in, Search Engine Land notes — perhaps because it is an indicator few writers use Google+?
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Google’s Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller says tests showed the change improved click-through rates. That’s quite the statement, since it contradicts Google’s original thinking — only time will tell if it rings true for publishers.