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Google Authorship Attribute: The authorship attribute is a new element within the recent Panda update. This another way Google is prioritizing content from published authors within the search engine results pages. It's a nice solution for content experts as it helps build greater awareness while demonstrating authority in their respective field.
Authors and blog owners can now display their profile images in the right margin of Google's search results by following a few simple steps.
I've also added my G+ profile link to my blog profile's biographical info field (admin section) to be sure it gets found, however I'm not 100% this is necessary yet.
My elements have been in place for a couple of weeks, but my profile image isn't appearing yet. Google's reply is simply "Be patient." So far, only select profiles are published, more will follow. Here's one example of the how it looks within the results pages when searching for Matt Cutts:
Have you added the rel=author attribute yet? If so, is your profile image being displayed?