Google continues to make changes to the authorship element it displays in search results. Yesterday, we reported on Google now letting you set it up by verifying your email address on your Google Profile, though this makes your email address public, and not all people will want to do this.
Here are a couple of videos from Google we looked at a while back, explaining how to implement authorship markup:
About a month ago, we looked at Google adding circle counts for some authors in search results. Today, they announced this and a couple more changes to go with it. Now, they're showing circle count, "add to circles," and comments.
"You should be able to easily engage with and hear more from authors you like, so we're making that easy by allowing you to add authors to your circles right in search results (this feature is rolling out over the coming weeks)," says Google software engineer Wanda Hung. "Another way you can engage with authors is to comment directly to them on Google+. Now if an author shares an article on Google+ and they get comments on it, you’ll see a link on the search results page to view the comments in Google+."
Google shows this example:
As we've said repeatedly, it's clear that who you are is more important in Google's eyes than ever. In August, Google's Othar Hansson said, “It’s obviously early days, so we hope to use this information and any information as a ranking signal at Google. In this case, we want to get information on credibility of authors from all kinds of sources, and eventually use it in ranking. We’re only experimenting with that now. Who knows where it will go?”
By the way, in terms of comments showing up, don't forget that there is likely also a Google+-based comments system for sites on the way.