It's official - Google+ verification and authorship does positively affect organic search rankings.
Eric Schmidt lets the cat out of the bag:
“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.”
What are you waiting for, then? It's time to get active on Google+.