There is a lot of confusion amongst web site owners when it comes to the benefits Google+. I could, and perhaps should, be a little flippant and suggest that, if it isn’t going to hurt your website, then you may as well join everyone else in the rush to become Google+ users. In this case, whilst I think being a part of Google+ is important, it is equally important to understand the hows and whys – especially as it relates to small business SEO.
Matt McGee on SearchEngineLand discusses two Google+ SEO guides (that are well worth reading) and he makes some salient observations. His first sort of fits in line with my original flippant statement. He suggests that:
Even if your audience isn’t active there, it’s almost mandatory to have a profile and be active there because of the way Google is showing more Google+ content in its regular search results.
The key is to be active and to try and build circles. What is interesting is the suggestion that “Comments and reshares don’t matter as much as +1s”. It’s still early days really, so it’s hard to determine what impact Google+ will have on overall search results. As with most changes to the way Google handles search results, different niches will report different effects.
If you are a little confused with everything you have read about Google+, then I suggest you grab a good cup of your favourite beverage, and read through the two articles mentioned on SearchEngineLand. If you want to go directly to them, you can read Ian Lurie’s here and AJ Kohn’s article here.