Google latterly made a difficult decision about using authorship markup or displaying author details and information which is no longer useful and helpful as expected which can further distract the results. Therefore, Google finally decided to ceased from using the authorship thoroughly.
This is actually announced by Google’s John Mueller. Though it is pretty odd for something like it wasn’t announced on any official Google blog, but on his personal blog Google+ which seems to motivate webmasters and users to take advantage with. Mueller writes:
“I’ve been involved since we first started testing authorship markup and displaying it in search results. We’ve gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we’ve tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we’ve made difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.
(If you’re curious – in our tests, removing authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads. We make these kinds of changes to improve our user’s experience.)”
Based on his blog posted on his personal Google+, Google will still continue to strive in order to develop a support of structured markup like schema.org and make use of it to manifest rich fragment in search results. Also, he stated that users will not be affected by the changes with Google+ from friends and other pages in search results or publisher markup.
Asked in the comments – For sake of clarity, Does this include publisher markup? Mueller said “No, publisher markup is not affected by this.” Also, Mueller was asked if Google will still be using authorship schema behind the scenes, does google still have the data and whether or not people should remove the authorship code from their pages. Then as a quick response from Mueller, he said, “No, we’re no longer using authorship, we treat it like any other markup on your pages. Leaving it is fine, it won’t cause problems (and perhaps your users appreciate being able to find out more about you through your profile too).”
As per comments, another question was asked if there is no longer any value to showing Google via interlinking with the Google+ profile, what pieces of work have been published online, Mueller retorted, “Well links, are links, but we’re not using them for authorship anymore.”