My sites are not "blogs" or personal opinion pieces, they are dot coms and they're owned by an organization tied to one individual (who is mentioned only once in the "About Us" section at the end of each page of each site). All the sites are tied together, though content is different.
So, I vetted this with the organization, and I created a Google+ account for this person. I used their image. I set everything up. The photo *should* start showing in the search results (I hope).
Positive net effects:
1) I like that the sites are all tied together now through Google+
2) I like how authorship "verifies" content, to an extent, and ties content to one person. I think this is an excellent idea on Google's part.
3) Having a photo in SE results could be interesting, hopefully will increase CTR a bit. Photo is very nice and professional headshot.
4) I've heard authorship can ensure scrapers won't ever be above you in SE results.
5) I've heard authorship, more and more, could have a positive impact on SE results (makes sense, why wouldn't Google be biased toward its own social network?).
Negative net effects and concerns:
a) I don't want people clicking his Google+ profile instead of the site itself! (They probably won't)
b) Could having a photo suggest, subtly, to searchers that the site is a blog or opinion piece, instead of an authoritative dot com? I'm concerned it could. They're going to think, "Oh, an article" instead of "Oh, an organization/authoritative source."
c) It essentially says "BY so-and-so" -- this is partially true. This guy didn't write or design every part of the web site, or all of the content! But it's all his, part of his organization. That's why this authorship thing is so odd. Most sites are a big collaboration. But I'm not going to put MYSELF on it, as webmaster, either, am I? Who would? Authorship seems to have a limited use SINCE IT IS BASED ON ONE PERSON, A NAME, instead of also including organizations/businesses. It's rather bizarre how "personal" it is.
d) WHAT IF your Google+ profile has ZERO social network footprint, i.e. no friends, followers, etc.? I never use Google+, I hate the interface.
At issue is the fact Google has indicated they will begin looking at the social rank and popularity of a Google+ and connecting that information to a web page. But all things being equal, if you go from NO Google+ to a Google+ with ZERO social followers/ranking, will this help or hurt you? Or is it neutral?
This is the most important question to me: I want to know whether a "dead" Google+ profile will actually HURT you in the long run, versus not having one at all.
Obviously, I hope his Google+ profile gets some followers and I will post some of his content on it, but I don't expect him to even hardly use it.