I love Google+ and I think it's the direction they are heading for SEO. When someone shares a link on G+ Google gets instant feedback on social popularity. Even in beta I posted an article to my blog and saw it hit the top half of page 1 overnight. I can't say for sure it was related to sharing through the site but I never had instant success for an article like that before.
I've stuck with it through the good times and the hard times and I've built a base of over 25k followers. They had a glitch over the past few months that severely limited visibility of posts but with the new update that's been fixed and I see them all again and have great interaction once again. I think authorship is great to stand out in the race too. Having a photo next to your link adds to the trust factor.
Anyway, I'm sure my G+ love fest is probably kind of annoying so I'll end the comment. Got to get back to work on my sites and see success for once in my life!
Seb7, The first thing I thought when I heard that Google was beta testing a new social network was this is my chance to get in on the ground floor of something huge. I paid close attention to the bigger names that I could identify with and learned a lot. I think Robert Scoble was my biggest influence. He got his large following from being a community builder across new networks. I tried to offer valuable conversation when I could and gained a lot of followers that way. By the end of the beta I was at about 1,000 followers. Then when circle sharing started it exploded.
The keys to getting the most from G+ are to remember first it's not Facebook. It's about finding new connections who share the same interests instead of BS'ing with someone from work. Second share to public if you want to be seen, posts with a photo attached and well formatted with bold etc are the best received. Third, offer verbose conversation and don't be afraid to talk to the bigger names (unless they are the type that post and run). Fourth don't be afraid to add large circle shares (you can search for them), the busier your stream is the more opportunity to connect and share.
I love Google+ and I think it's the direction they are heading for SEO.
This can only work if a majority of sites adopt G+, otherwise their search index will be glaringly lacking.
Will they fix these two issues? Probably not, they are used to gather data.
I think selling out search results to build a social network was a REALLY bad idea. A prettier interface changes nothing.