EditorialGuy - 10:31 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
I don't actually recall anyone from Google saying authorship would help you rank, just that it does have a tendency to increase CTR of pages that already rank.
Well, Google does have new patents (filed in Jan. 2012, granted in June 2013) that relate to authorship, including "System and method for determining topic authority" (US Patent 8,458,196) that includes references to "authorship information" and "authority signature value" for authors. (In a June 12 blog post, Bill Slawski grouped this and the related patents under the heading "Google Patents n Author Signature Values and Authority Scores.")
And in a recent video about changes that are coming this summer, Matt Cutts said:
"We are doing a doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space. It could be medical, it could be travel, whatever. And trying to makes sure that those rank a little more highly, if you are some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little bit more appropriate for users."
Mind you, there's no reason to believe that "AuthorRank" (as author reputation as a ranking factor has been dubbed) will work for every type of page and query.