Google announces authorship markup- Google announced  this week that it will immediately begin supporting authorship markup, as a way of better connecting authors with content on the web. This change will enable users to search for content via an author’s name. The service will also enable websites to publicly link from content to author pages. Othar Hansson explains in his post on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, “If an author at The New York Times has written dozens of articles, using this markup, the webmaster can connect these articles with a New York Times author page. An author page describes and identifies the author, and can include things like the author’s bio, photo, articles and other links.”
Google announces embedded format for Ad Sitelinks- On Tuesday, Google introduced  a new embedded sitelinks feature to their Ad Sitelinks, aimed at making it easier for advertisers to integrate targeted links into ads. Dan Friedman explains the feature on Inside AdWords blog as a real improvement for marketers, stating, “With the embedded format of Ad Sitelinks, there are no additional lines appended to your text ad. Instead, text in your ad that exactly matches one or more of the sitelinks in your campaign will automatically be linked to that sitelink’s destination URL. With embedded sitelinks, potential customers can pick the part of your ad that applies directly to their current interests and visit the most specific page for that topic.”
Facebook’s new privacy settings enable facial recognition- According to a report  from Sophos on Tuesday, Facebook has begun, without notifying their users, changing its user privacy settings to allow for facial recognition. The facial recognition service can automatically identify a person’s face in a picture on Facebook. Once the person has been identified, Facebook prompts the user to tag that individual. If the user doesn’t want to be tagged, they then have to go and manually de-tag themselves.
Google maps now does real time transit info- Yesterday, Google announced  that real time mass transit information is now available on both the mobile and desktop versions of Google Maps. The new feature enables users to find out when their next bus or train will arrive. The service is currently available in Boston, Portland, Ore., San Diego, San Francisco, Madrid and Turin.
Panda Update 2.2 coming soon- Matt Cutts confirmed  at Search Engine Land’s SMX Advanced conference  on Tuesday that Google will be releasing version 2.2 of its Panda algorithm update. According to the Q&A between Danny Sullivan and Cutts, the next update will focus on identifying sites that simply re-publish content.
Microsoft adds new mobile social-search services- This week Microsoft introduced  its new social-search features in Bing for Apple iOS, Android and RIM users. The new services are geared at making it easier for customers to use Bing to check Facebook, access the news, and look up local listings and directions. The update will be available for Windows Phone 7 users in the fall.
- Check out Danny Sullivan’s article  on Search Engine Land that discusses SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin’s presentation at the SMX Advanced Conference on the correlation between Facebook Shares and Google rankings.
- Want to learn more about Facebook’s most recent privacy controversy? Check out Ryan Singel’s article on Wired.com  that discusses the international controversy sparked by Facebook’s new facial recognition service.