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](https://i2.wp.com/www.onemanandhisblog.com/content/images/2011/09/circlesinsearch-thumb-520x124-2118.png?resize=520%2C124)](https://i2.wp.com/www.onemanandhisblog.com/content/images/2011/09/circlesinsearch.png)
I’ve talked about [authorship markup](http://www.onemanandhisblog.com/archives/2011/08/birth_of_the_authorship.html) 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…