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Great post! Surely, Google authorship is going to the game in coming future.. according to me, reason why Google is moving towards "Authority" is to identify who is writing the content? It is very hard to identify who is the person behind this content? Does (s)he knows the topic in question? I guess Google Authorship is the answer to these questions. Same Applies on links as well.
That being said, Mat Cutts recently announced that they are going introduce an algo which will identify "Authorities in Niche". Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xQmQeKU25zg
He said that "We are doing a doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space. It could be medical, it could be travel, whatever. And trying to makes sure that those rank a little more highly, if you are some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little bit more appropriate for users.".
Thanks Jason, hope you enjoyed reading :)