In a disappointing move, John Mueller from Google recently announced that author profile pictures will no longer appear in search results. Officially the decision apppears to be to improve and simplify how results appear across multiple device. See Mueller’s post below
What is disappointing about this development isn’t to do with ego. Research and statistics supported the fact that more people clicked on search results which showed a profile picture. In many cases some of these increased click through ratios have been as high as 60% higher than normal results.
This fact represented a massive incentive to actually use Google+ however many of the other SEO benefits to using Google+ remain.