It’s something called Author Rank and when its all set up and configured it means that your Google search listings will look like the below:
What Google is doing here is associating the content with the article this person wrote and their Google profile, why does that matter to you as a site owner? and why does it matter in terms of traffic?
Well first of all you can see from the screen shot that the listing in Google is a lot more visually intriguing, there’s a face there! a real person! so you can expect to get more click through rates with content that has this thumbnail integrated into it.
Now as an author, Google will start tracking your content and start gathering stats about what you write and it will start to give you a author rank.
Not only this but also while using Google + if your friends or people in your ‘circles’ decide to start +1 content on the internet, if you search for something similar to your friends the content they like will automatically become at the top of your Google search results because Google knows that you trust your friends and will most likely being interested in the content they think is worth doing a +1 to.
This is massive fundamental change in the way Google will be ranking content, it comes away from the standard SEO tactics and back-links and takes into account your content as an author and how many likes you have, how many Google + 1 you have. So if I was you I would get onto Google + and start writing some decent content to gain yourself some author rank, because it may not be long before this determines where your business sits on Google search. This has pretty much become live this week so as more is known ill post an update.