Breaking news today, June 25, 2014, as Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller announced on his Google+ profile that Google will no longer be displaying the profile photos of Google+ users who have tied an Authorship tag to their content on the web, nor will the number of people who have the Author in their Circles display in the new SERP layout.
Mueller says the decision was made in order to improve the cluttered look of the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) layout. Studies have shown that these Authorship Profile Photos do have a direct impact on increasing Click Through Rates (CTR) within the search results.
Mueller suggests in his Google+ posting that they have studied the impact this major change will have on CTRs and have concluded there is no dramatic impact on CTRs either way with the new decluttered layout.
The changes are rolling out gradually across the globe, and this topic is sure to be heavily debated on social media and SEO platforms in the coming days/weeks.
What do you think of this major design change for the Google SERP?