Google does away with authorship thumbnails in search results. Google has decided to “let it go.” – I know some folks jumped through hoops to get their thumbnails to show up in search results only to have Google remove it. So is the authorship still important?
According to John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, this decision was made in order to “simplify” the way Authorship is shown in the search results:
We’ve been doing lots of work to clean up the visual design of our search results, in particular creating a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices. 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. (Our experiments indicate that click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.)
Most marketers and social media experts agree that in spite of these changes, Authorship is still a necessary and valuable part of your SEO and content marketing strategy.
NOTE: Google will display thumbnails in some personalized results. So I guess that means, yes, authorship is still important and Google will decide what shows up based on personalization of google products (Google+, You Tube, Gmail, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, etc.)