tedster - 3:40 am on Jun 4, 2013 (gmt 0)
Some do rely on Google+ - not for ranking benefits - but for authentication.
Is there any evidence for this?
Yes, I've worked with one site that was crushed by Panda 1.0 and being outranked by scrapers. It seemed to me that they had lost authority and Google had now pegged THEM as the scraper and not the "scrapee".
After using Google+ to build author pages, their Panda problem vanished and now they are rolling on at record levels