In a Google+ post, webmaster trends analyst John Mueller says Google has "made the difficult decision" to stop showing authorship in search results.
According to Mueller, Google tests showed removing authorship did not generally appear to reduce site traffic or increase ad clicks.
"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," Mueller writes. "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."
Mueller says Google is "strongly committed" to expanding support of structured markup such as schema.org and he says Google will continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results.
"We make these kinds of changes to improve our users' experience," he notes.
He thanks webmasters for their efforts to improve their sites and says Google Search users will continue to see Google+ posts from friends and pages when relevant within the main results and on the right-hand side.
"Today's authorship change doesn't impact these social features," he adds.
In June, Mueller used Google+ to announce that Google would stop showing author profile images and Google+ circle counts in desktop and mobile search results.
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Register today!