When I think about Google+ and its journey I’m reminded of a high school nerd that sports a new hair style and wardrobe – suddenly he’s cool.  Just one year ago Google+ struggled to get anyone’s attention with screams that it had “circles.”  The public replied, “Who cares?”  Now it’s the social media block’s smokin’ hot newbie.  But why?!

Why does Google+ suddenly matter?

Connections are easier.  Facebook and Twitter are great ways to communicate, but what if no one is listening?  If your followers are fewer than 100 is it even worth the time and energy to research topics, write a title with excerpt and make those posts?  Google+ allows you to post, reply and communicate with large communities of commercial real estate agents, investors, and small business owners.  Search for communities within your target market, join, and open communication with hundreds of people right away.  The only social media that comes close to Google’s circles is LinkedIn Groups.  LinkedIn is similar but the dang Groups are so full of useless promos and random nonsense that it’s impossible to find quality info.  Google has a much-needed ability to “Block” certain users from your screen.  This allows you to browse quality articles and mute the spam.

Promises of sweetened search engine optimization.  It’s no secret that Google owns the search engine market.  With a reported 67% of the market (source) there’s no question that a page 1 ranking with your desired search terms, “Kansas City Commercial Real Estate” could change your business and bring in an enormous amount of leads.  However, SEO (search engine optimization) is killer hard.  Even if you’re creating quality content with a blog and social media, you may be having a difficult time ranking above page #2.  Participating in Google+ may increase your rankings just enough to boost you onto coveted page #1.  Google+ has the ability to connect your social media accounts with Google.

Especially if you have a name like John Smith or a big company name (CBRE), this is an excellent way to say, “Hey Google, these accounts listed are mine.  I know you were confused because there are 5 John Smiths at CBRE, but you should rank my name highest.  I’m actively creating content and the others aren’t.”

Google search algorithms are built to rank you highest if you’re actively trying to make the Internet a better place.  You’re making the Internet better each time you provide quality, original and new advice to your target market.

Google has also sweetened the pot by promising that Google+ profiles will factor more in search rankings over time.  Since every one of us either strives to maintain (or get onto) page #1, we’re willing to reserve a spot on Google+’s dance card.

How many people are using Google+?  Google+ has 343 million users.  Just like the nerdy kid with a make-over, Google+ came out of nowhere as the 2nd most popular kid in school.  If this plot-line follows typical coming-of-age stories, Larry Page (Google) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) are going to need a “dance-off” to settle the victor.

google plus results

What should I do?  Get yourself a Google+ account and fill out the profile.  Add all your social media links to the “Other Profiles” area and your company’s site to “Links” area.  Even if you do nothing else, this will show Google the accounts that belong to you.

If you want to get involved, join a few communities like, commercial real estate agents, investors, and small business owners.  Find other communities that your target market may frequent like property management, restaurants in your city, city specific business owners, or any other communities you can find.

Encourage friends and co-workers to add you to their circles, add others to your circles.  Join in on discussions.  Get involved!

*I wanted to provide more information on the “Hangouts” feature, but I don’t own a webcam.  I can’t participate without a webcam.

Google + for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything – Book available for more information