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About two weeks after signing up to Google + after it launched I decided it was pretty much useless.  I more or less abandoned my account and concentrated my efforts elsewhere – in terms of reaching my professional goals, or providing me with social value it just wasn’t quite there.

Well I’m here to tell you that I’ve now been converted. I’m a new Google+ addict and advocate. Take a look at my countdown of the top 4 reasons why NOW is the time to get you (and your small business) on Google+.

common sense + forward thinking = google plus

The 4 reasons why you should get on Google+ NOW!

4 – social proof and increasing your online authority

The +1 is essentially like a vote of confidence that can be seen all over the web. It is an indicator of how reputable you are, and there is no doubt that a high number can help you to sell. Plus, your Google+ page is integrated with your Google+ local page making your reviews even more prominent and linked to your online profile.

3 – Draw attention to yourself in the search engine results

Google + comes with great little added features which you can enable to make your content more prominent. Two such features are the rel=publisher and rel=author tags which mean your Google+ profile picture will be shown next to your result.

2 – Google + and SEO

As we’ve explained before, Google absolutely loves social media. A search engine’s job is to determine what the most credible and relevant answers are to our search enquiries and a social share, or favourite is a very strong indicator of this. It’s no surprise that the +1 feature plays a role too. The higher your business is plussed (or the author of the article), the better it will do in Google search results.

The top reason why I started investing my time in Google Plus: Communities

All the above reasons are very well, but it’s hard to spend worthwhile time on another social media site unless you connect with it as a network.  When Google+ first started I found that there was nothing on Google+  I didn’t have elsewhere. However, with the advent of Google+ communities that is no longer the case…

Number 1 – Google+ communities

Google+ communities allow me to:

  • Make connections with other like-minded people (in business, politics and hobbies)
  • Have intelligent discussions on a number of topics I’m interested in
  • Provide a way for me to learn from experts about subjects I’m interested in
  • Find great content, inspiration and motivation

You might say that they sounds pretty similar to LinkedIn groups, and in a sense you’re right but there are some major differences.

Firstly, the big problem I have with LinkedIn (self-promotional spam) hasn’t seemed to have made its way to Google + (not to say that it won’t in the future). In general all the communities are very well moderated and there is a real emphasis on high quality, intelligent debate and discussion.  This means that finding high quality content and contacts is much easier than on any other social network.

There is also the fact that LinkedIn is 100% business orientated, whereas Google+ has a much broader remit. On Google + I can talk about business, but also about everyday life, my hobbies and my interests and (as a result) connect on a deeper level. At the same time, I can share information with specific groups of people, and exclude others, without being worried about overloading everyone with the wrong kind of information.

List of recommended communities

Give it a go

Knowing that social networking is good for SEO is all very well, but unless you get value out of the platform for itself as well there is no point in being there. I find that Google + provides me with real value for my time, and it is consistently becoming the place I go for quality advice, discussion and content. And because I’m engaged with Google+ it makes it much much easier to put in the necessary input to reap the SEO rewards too.

Connect with British Design Experts on Google+ here.