It seems that those nice photos of the authors next to certain Google results are soon to become a thing of the past. It’s a shame for those of us who have spent some time making sure they’re included, but Google claims they’re not making any difference to clickthrough rate and are therefore an unnecessary adornment. I’m not so sure this is true, but hey, it’s their search engine. The good thing is that you won’t have to put up with seeing my face there any more.
However, if you’ve gone to the effort of setting up “Google Authorship” (which is what you needed to do to get the photos), the feeling in the SEO world is that the effort wasn’t wasted. The concept of widely-published authors getting a boost in the results (“AuthorRank”) is likely to become real, if it hasn’t already done so. I suspect that the main problem for Google has been that 99% of the people taking advantage of the facility have been those writing about search engine optimisation. Like so many Google initiatives, “authorship” is just too complicated for the vast majority of potential users to bother with. The company is just awful at making things easy. See also Google+, of course.