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Google has always prided itself on providing the best possible experience for its users. This is done by presenting searchers with the most useful, timely and relevant results when they search. One way the Google team are working on improving this even further is by utilising Google+, the social networking platform initially created as an answer to Facebook

There are a number of advantages to using Google+. One advantage is that it is easier to send +1 people back to relevant parts of your website that are genuinely useful to them because you already have some relationship with them.

Google+ icons will stand out and link to your Google+ page. The Google+ badge is recognised by users and carries an intrinsic trustworthiness with it.

Google+Google+

This icon allows people who have visited your webpage to link directly from your page to their circle without leaving your page. Additionally, it is easy to share icons.

Another icon is for ‘Hangouts’. These are high quality video chats by individuals with up to 9 people in the conversation who can genuinely offer something of value to your audience.

Google HangoutsHangouts

A use could be a doctor talking about osteoporosis to a health food company group. They can get to know your audience almost one to one and share information. Another use for this application is utilising it for focus groups, all in real time to obtain genuine feedback on a product, advertisement or even current news.

SEO advantages of Google+ include maximising the power of +1. If you link your website to your Google+ page as well as your search result pages, all the +1’s are added together to give a combined total. This will give more opportunities for users to see recommendations for you and increase the amount of people you can reach.

The future: by knowing you better through personalisation and knowing your connections through Google+, over time, Google aim to give you and your users a better experience.

Google Direct ConnectDirect Connect

One way they will be doing this is utilising Google+ Direct Connect which is still in the experimental stage. Once fully developed, should you have your webpage and Google+ page linked, if a user searches for you in Google with the + sign in front of your name, they will be taken directly to your site rather than having to read through a list of search results presented to them, ultimately risking their click on an alternative site.

This Direct Connect will mean a whole new ball game for both Google Ads as well as SEO. Directing your potential visitors to always search for you with the + sign will critically eliminate the risk of your users even seeing your competition, removing risks of them seeing an alternate offer.

Visitors arriving at your site via Direct Connect will be encouraged to add your webpage to their circle. It is almost like having a sales rep on their shoulder advising them to remember you.

The ability to target niche markets by listening to the chatter is another benefit of Google+. Listening to your users allows you to identify niche groups which you can then segment and create ‘circles’ to whom you can offer exclusive content, specials or other information specifically designed to appeal to these niches.

Google CirclesCircles

For example a cinema may create a circle for young mums which offer discounts to daytime screenings of appropriate movies where they have excess capacity.

And Beyond: The most widely used search engine is currently Google. It has the technology to be able to perform ‘personalised search’ right now, when you add the connections, circles, hangouts and direct connect in the future, what do we see? An overarching technology support system that could be confronting, however used well, it can become your greatest ally. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will change as a result, as will traditional advertising within the internet sphere.

Utilising Google+ to build relationships will probably become critical as without Google+ your organic search engine rankings may dry up. Therefore, the concept that Google will carry even greater authority and weight in the SEO spectrum is a given. Without Google+ there is a risk that no matter how well a website is built, a business may go completely unnoticed by the majority of searchers on the internet. Therefore, as long as you don’t want your business to hide its light under a bushel, it is a good idea to investigate the Google+ phenomenon and how it can help your business.

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Google+ for Business – Connect More was last modified: February 7th, 2012 by Sue Cooper