One reason I haven’t been active on Google plus is because of their pseudonym policy. Originally, they strictly banned pseudonyms, but now it seems they do allow pseudonyms that have a “significant” following. They haven’t defined what that means – and I’m guessing my identity at this point may not be “significant”.
I made some recent changes to this site, to try to figure out why the rankings have suffered since the Panda 20 / exact match domain update. One of the changes I just implemented was setting up a Google Plus account and claiming authorship. I believe that Google is working towards establishing authorship trust, if they haven’t implemented it already. I’m guessing some of that trust is based on the articles written on the web, but probably google plus activity can strengthen that trust – such as by being in circles of people who are trusted and have established a loyal following.
At this point, I don’t expect adding a Google Plus authorship to have any significant positive impact, but if I wanted to put the effort into building a Google Plus identity with this name, then I think it could help. I don’t think it is a main factor in Panda, but I think in the future it will be part of Google ranking algorithm. I don’t want to put in the effort, though, if ultimately it means someone will flag my account as not using my real name and it will not only get my Google Plus account removed, but also make it where I can no longer access my associated gmail account and google webmaster profile.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any way to get my pseudonym approved (or denied) in advance.