Google has made it easier to implement authorship of your content by either validating an eMail address on the same domain as your content or with links. When linked successfully, a headshot will appear alongside the authors content in search results. This way search results stand out from others on the page and tend to receive more clicks, regardless if it's in first or fifth position:
There are other benefits to this such as getting stats on views and the CTRs of the author's content in Google search results. You'll also notice the nifty "More by ..." that appears below the URL.