One of the most interesting insights into the mind of Google, as it were, was the three year experiment known as Google Authorship.
Google Authorship was a program that allowed online authors to identify and verify their content with Google. This was accomplished by a two-way link between the author’s content across the web and his Google+ profile.
While the Authorship program was officially discontinued by Google on August 28, 2014, it is likely that Google’s interest in the value of the authority, trust, and reputation of an author in a given topical area is undiminished.
A Brief History of Google Authorship :
The roots of Google Authorship lie in a patent originally granted to Google in 2007 titled “Agent Rank” (http://www.google.com/patents/US20070033168). The patent described methods whereby a search engine could identify distinct “agents” (one of which could be the author or authors of a web document) and then assign a score to that agent that could then be used as a factor in search rankings.
Google didn’t appear to do anything with this patent until June 2011. In a blog post that month (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/06/authorship-markup-and-web-search.html) Google’s Othar Hansson announced that they would begin to support the use of the HTML5 standard rel=author and the XFN standard rel=me, and that webmasters could use that markup to identify authors and author profiles on their sites.
The next major step in Authorship came just 21 days later when Google unveiled its new social network, Google+. Google+ provided personal profiles that Google could use to verify authors using the rel=author markup.