Although Google authorship supposedly “died” back in August of 2014, Gary Illyes of Google said that webmasters and publisher should leave the authorship markup on their page.
Despite the fact that Google removed Authorship support last year, it’s surprised that Gary Illyes is telling us that we should be keeping authorship live in the source code.
What’s funny is that Googler John Mueller probably told webmasters that it was ok to remove the authorship from their site markup. But now Gary is saying that we should keep it in.
The reason behind Gary’s statement is that you’ll never know when the Google search team may want to begin using authorship again. It seems that Google needs to get it together. Choose a path and stick with it guys.
There’s a chance that Google is using a form of authorship and author rank for determining when to show in-depth articles in the search results
Hopefully there will be more clarification from Google in the near future on this topic.