Sgt_Kickaxe - 1:01 am on Feb 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
Let's face it, no one has the slightest idea that is based on any facts.
You're right, what we do know is that the little +1 button on the bottom of this page is rarely clicked but it ALWAYS loads a Google file to record your IP. It's not an accident that Google offers no static equivalent like twitter and Facebook do.
Since Google again records your IP when you log into a Google product like adsense or adwords they know who you are on this forum even if you use a pen name (simple matter of matching post time with file load time). Is that really necessary? So even if it does/does not increase position it DOES increase Google's positional knowledge about YOU.
Is Google profiling webmasters? again who knows for sure but I'd bet my bottom dollar on it... so should I watch what I write or continue to write what I think, it may impact my rankings with this company.