The idea behind Google Authorship seemed extremely promising when it patented Agent Rank/Author Rank back in 2007. The idea was to influence page rankings based on the reputation of its authors by using digital signatures. So, trusted agents would receive a higher score than someone who hadn’t yet earned their stripes.
This was just an idea until June 2011. During this time Google began to encourage webmasters to use the rel=”author” and rel=”me” tags for pieces of content that an author wrote. When Google+ was unveiled, the entire Google Authorship plan came together is there was a way to connect content with its authors.
Within the first year, the experiment seemed promising.Searchmetrics found that 17% of SERPs were showing the rel=author tag, which was higher than expected. Unfortunately, Authorship didn’t take off as expected.
Stone Temple Consulting discovered in a recent study that 70% of authors made no effort in connecting their content with authorship. In addition to that staggering figure, out of 150 pages sampled, 50 did not have author pages, while ¾ gave no attribution to an author. Furthermore, there were issues with confusing authors and containing no links to Google+ profiles.