Comment on Google Authorship Tutorial by Mark Biernat.
I agree with everything you have written. I tend to think that “authorship” will play role in an indirect way. But you are right, it is not the end all. I tend to read a lot of SEO forums and then lose perspective.
It certainly helps the clicking on search results as imagines in results draws attention.
However, that being said; do you think the link-out to Google + which is basically a link out on every page of my higher quality websites, is worth claiming authorship? Is there an SEO way to handle the link out?
I think with that much PR and linking going to my Google + page it will rank high, but is it worth sending that much juice out to something that is just a stream of reviews and likes etc. on various topics? It might be, or not. Maybe if your Google + is thematically related to your one main site I can see this as a positive. Or maybe Google handles a link to Google + in a different way.
I do notice under an SEO browser view you send a lot of link outs to various social sites.