Google Authorship Pictures In Search Results Are Going Away

SMS Text
Google Authorship Pictures In Search Results Are Going Away

The Google Authorship pictures that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in search results are about to go away. Google’s John Mueller detailed this change in an announcement on Google+:

We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results… 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. 

Mueller also explains that removing authorship pictures from search results has not had a significant effect on click-through rates: “Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.”

Google is not doing away with authorship information all together though, the updated look will simply feature the author’s name in light grey as shown in this example:


Google Authorship has an updated look in the Google News results as well. The new look for authorship in Google News contains a small profile photo, but the author’s Google+ Circle count has been removed.


The new look for Authorship in both News and regular search results is being rolled out to desktop and mobile.

For more information about Google Authorship, view this help document.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
Subscribe to SEJ!
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!
  • Mukesh Negi

    I don’t think so its good idea. They should think once again about it.

  • David Weightman

    Thanks Matt for the info. It’s good to know the upcoming changes related to Authorship and Google.

  • Jon Wade

    Sounds like a good move to me. As a writer I do not always want my social media profile image to be immediately associated with the content I am writing. I once wrote about a criminal case and felt rather uneasy that my photo was shown next to the story. This really does make a lot of sense.

  • Michael

    Google has finally decided to streamline the way submissions, linking, indexing & a long list of things that should have been revamped years ago. I’m truly happy to see Google leveling the playing field for everyone.

  • Ovais Mirza

    Thats quite true matt, i too have noticed that in Google.. This is because Google now wants only quality authors to be displayed in the search engine not everyone..

  • Arjan

    Big mistake G, this will be the start of the downfall of G+…give it 1-2 more years untill termination.
    Why o why?

  • Terry Kyle

    Another useful (if unpredictable) feature of Google flushed away – like keyword traffic stats. Typical Google arrogance.

  • Alex Morris

    This is an outrage!!! To be honest I agree with other sentiments on here, I’m not eager to have my picture right next to my articles. I’d rather the focus be on the topic of the post.

    Conversely, Google went the other way with Google+’s Narcissism Statistics, where you can see how many people have viewed each account. It’s possible to turn them off, though, but I notice most people haven’t. Scandalous!

  • Noahj

    I personally like the avatars in Google search, but based on only having quality proven authors to appear makes sense and can be better for a more whole search engine.

    I will say in regards to Google and Google+. I don’t think they are going anywhere.

    I think Google+ deliberately plaid the background at some point when it seemed Facebook and G+ were going head to head.

    I remember when Facebook (a social platform) was seeming to be vs. G+ (a social platform) which downplayed Google a bit down to a social platform when they are so much more and so way far beyond Facebook. It is like comparing an apple to an apple tree and forgetting the apple tree.

    With that said Google+ I would hope just watched that Facebook is on a steady decline since their peak. So why not just wait it out till they are at their weakest and shut’em down for good in shifting to something else. Why spend all your energy when the inevitable is coming your way anyway? Google and Google+ isn’t going anywhere. Google+ has actually gotten more popular bit by bit which I think is subtle inevitable strategy.

    Thoughts, critiques?

  • Amod Oke

    This is all done to protect their fat adwords bottomline. Without doubt the organic CTR’s were stealing the thunder!

    They don’t care if Google Plus lives or dies as long as 2 things: the adwords turnover and their share price keeps going up…

    Another lesson for us webmasters = Don’t depend too much on google, they *ONLY* about themselves.

  • Sanjay Singh

    I was worried for not seeing my profile pic in search results even though I verified authorship for my personal blog. Thanks for sharing the fact. But overall it is sad. 🙁

  • Icah Banjarmasin

    Awesome..Hi Matt thank you very much and really I like your post keep in touch from INDONESIA god Bless 4U and family.

  • sunnybatra

    Hi Matt!
    Absolutely.Great to see you again.Personally, I think that the new look for authorship in Google News contains a small profile photo, but the Google+ Circle count has been removed.Nice and looks very attractive blogs….
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Kaluri Shankar

    Its an good implement by Google, Eagerly waiting for new updates regards Google Authorship.

  • Yeasmin Akter

    Hate to lose my photo from search results!!! I have read “WordStream” content where noticed that Google also takes away Google + is it true?