I just noticed that there is now a designator for “current contributor” or “past contributor” in the “Contributor To” section of Google+. Presumably this is for people who might have been contributors to a publication or a blog, but have since moved onto another company.
My first thought was that this is related to Google AuthoRank, but the more I think about, the less I think this would be useful. I guess this could be of some use if you used to work at say the New York Times, and want the authorship benefit without pretending that you still work there, but that’s the only use I can think of.
I also don’t see how this would work with guest blogging. For example, I’ve contributed posts to SEOMoz before, but I don’t work there and never have. Does that make me a current or past contributor? Seems somewhat confusing.
Anyway, regardless of its usefulness, there it is.
UPDATE: Looks like Mike Arnesen might have been the first one to notice this change, and he’s got a good write up on his blog.