For those who do not know, Google Authorship was a platform provided by Google to provide a method for authors and publishers to link the content that they have published to their Google+ profiles. That way, Google would be able to readily associate their published content with their identity, in which, as a result, they will be given a rich snippet. A rich snippet in Google Authorship gives the author’s image and byline, where it will be directly shown in the search results.
The Authorship program was announced back in June 2011 and it was also meant to provide a solution to identity authentication issues against web-spams. Within the next two or three following years, Google strived hard to get web-masters to adopt Google Authorship on their websites to conveniently provide access about the content authors’ information. So basically Google Authorship program connects multiple online content pieces and link them back to the party who created them, paired with Knowledge Graph as well as picture of the author in the search engine results pages.
Surprisingly in 2014, for some unknown reasons Google announced that it would no longer be providing author markup in the search rankings, and basically it was done deal. It started in the early 2014 when Google removed photos of the authors from the search engine result pages. Google did not give a certain definitive comment on it, although owners are encouraged to keep the rel=author tags in their sites.
A lot of tech enthusiasts made their predictions about Google Authorship’s future through videos and blog posts, but basically here are the reasons why Google Authorship is believed to return in 2016:
Comment From Gary Illyes: Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst
In one of his keynote speech at SMX East flagship event on October 1st 2015, Gary Illyes recommended to keep using the Authorship tag because there is a possibility that Google may make use of the rel=author tag again in the future. During one of the further discussions it is also suggested that Google Authorship may very likely to return if all of the necessary things required to get a critical mass threshold is achieved.
Implementation of Hummingbird
Judging from how Hummingbird is implemented, Google has certainly focused on providing an overall picture of a content instead of relying on the narrow scope of certain keywords. With this regards, it works in such a way that it identifies and return various contents based on conversational and voice queries, whereas it is highly linked with identifying a certain group of people for covering specific topics.
Confirmations From Other Google Reps
Several Google spokespeople like Matt Cutts have confirmed repeatedly that connecting people with their published content online is definitely a good idea, brilliant for the future of search processes. However, Matt Cutts has highlighted that up until now it is only in form of experiments run internally and it still faces a lot of flaws which include noises and a lot of spams within the backlinks.