EditorialGuy - 8:01 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
If author starts ruling the rankings then 'businesses, products, brands, and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+' are going to want to get in the game.
A major cruise line publishes a bylined blog by one of its cruise directors. The blog is a big hit--it resonates with customers who have met the cruise director or would like to--and the company doesn't seem worried that the cruise director will jump ship.
Similarly, there are a number of niche mail-order/e-commerce companies whose owners have succeeded, to a great extent, though their personal reputations and writing skills.
Also, there's nothing new about companies hiring celebrities or experts to promote their products. Why shouldn't a company hire an author? Megasportsgear dot com might hire Joe Schmo, the widgetball guru (and former Olympic Champion in widgetball), to write a series of widgetball articles for its widgetball section in the hope of attracting prospective widgetball customers. As long as Megasportsgear dot com had a long-term contract with Joe, it wouldn't have to worry about Joe leaving for greener pastures in the foreseeable future.