purplekitty - 1:42 pm on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)
Would someone please explain what you're seeing with regards to G+ that makes you think Google is designating websites as authority or helping with ranking or whatever alleged boost is being talked about?
Google are simply failing at detecting quality content and are relying on the "proxy" to quality content which is quality links.
Truthfully, I never did understand this. The vast majority of my website users (like practically all of them) do not have websites of their own. In fact, many of them are pretty uninformed about the Internet in general. They come to my site, either download a pdf or print the page, and that's it. I'm constantly tweaking my navigation because I get feedback on a regular basis from people having trouble finding what they want.
Social media has really taken off, though. It's easier now more than ever to share in those ways for the average website user.
I'm sure there are some industries where backlinks make sense to rate a website for quality, but I don't see it for most things people are looking for.