After the introduction and relative success of application rich snippets, Google now is placing the authorship rich snippet with author images being flashed next to the articles credited to them all over the SERPs.
What Google has done, is that it has linked the authorship image to author's Google+ profile. So, whenever a search is made that shows up an article credited to the Google+ user, then the SERPs will fetch the profile picture of that particular user and place it as a thumbnail image on the left hand side of article description.
Now the question is how many of us think that having our face displayed next to our articles will be helpful in promoting click through rate (CTR)? For those who don't, tried putting a Google+ profile picture that is relevant to the article or stories they write. For example, if you regularly write articles on tennis then having a tennis court displayed next to the article would make more sense than having your face. Those who have already tried this claimed that their CTR have spiked massively.
Though Google has previously mentioned that "you'll need a Google+ profile with a good, recognizable headshot as your profile photo", they haven't forced it yet. It is unclear still if Google will stick to their “headshot” demand or not, since the changes have worked well for some, we can expect Google to come out with a statement soon after all “need” is not a strong enough word. Until they do, you may optimize your Google authorship image increase your very own CTRs.Increase Click Through Rates by Optimizing Your Google Authorship Image!,