Let's not beat about the bush here. Google Authorship markup - which lets you claim authorship of an article - has just gone from a "nice to have" feature to something vital for SEO:
When Google introduced authorship markup in 2011, Google did note that they were "looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results."
Now Schmidt has made it explicit: in the future, you can boost your rankings by using Google authorship, and as we've reported before, Google+ has been designed to be an identity verification network.
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
Glad I got it all sorted a while back.