Good news from Google this week for those of you who use Google Apps. (That's the Google service where you can use Gmail but with your own domain. Many of our clients are taking advantage of this service already). Google now allows Google App account users to use the Google+ service (http://bit.ly/s3adVs). Now the million dollar question is, why should you care?
First, let's recap what Google+ is. Google+ (or G+ as you might see) is Google's latest attempt at entering the social media/networking world. G+ combines the concepts of sharing your activities, photos, and events with groups of friends gathered in what are called "circles." The biggest news here is that you can share content that you find throughout the web by using the "+1" button. By using the +1 button, Google keeps track of what people are sharing and talking about.
Here's why this is important for you: Google has made multiple announcements detailing how G+ usage is being integrated with their general search results. For example, Google may now be considering a site's Google+ popularity when weighing a site's standing in search results. G+ activity is indexed and can show up in search results as their own entry. So people's discussions on Google+ about your product or service becomes another opportunity of visibility through Google search. Google is clearly making G+ a service that permeates all parts of the Google world. (see http://rww.to/rPqyjP and http://selnd.com/rRg5pY).
The takeaway here is that Google+ should become another aspect of both a) your general marketing outreach and b) your effort to increase your website's search engine standing. Get talking on Google+, create circles of friends, and share relevant and interesting material.
Afterword: A few weeks ago, I tweeted a link to an article that discussed how G+ has millions of users but very little actual activity. That still is true, but it doesn't change the importance of Google+ to Google. It's even possible that if you're the only one promoting your business through Google+ that you'll stand out even stronger in Google (for now).