Google+ Circle counts arrive in search results

Wow. If we had any doubt that Google+ was going to become a significant part of what Google does, I think we can abandon it now. Checking recent referrals to this blog, I stumbled across this search result:

Circle counts
I've talked about authorship markup before, but now they've added circle counts. That's interesting.

Authorship is a way of socialising search results - it gives the author of any particular page a high level of emphasis. I've seen a small, but noticeable, uptick in search click-throughts since I started using it. That's to be expected - people respond to images of people. 

However the circle count gives some indication of authority - how followed this person is, how worth listening to they are. Looks like Google+ is going to end up as an integral part of Google search...