When I wanted to discuss the amazing benefits of Google+with folks, several people responded to me, "Why would you want to let them know where you are?" How strange, how big brotherish, I thought. Why not let Google know you? It is simply logical. Here are some instruction links to just about anything you want to do on Google+.
Make your Two Pages
Given that there are so many spammers out there, and fake businesses, and absurd competition for the search engine pages, having Google get to know you, your business, your websites, and link them all to your authorship is simply good business. The process is getting less complicated. You can set up a Google + page for yourself in a flash, and you can set up a Google+ page for your business just as easily.
In both cases Google sends you a verification to make sure you are real, human, not a robot, and not somebody else spamming your page. They go out of their way to make sure it is you. Then, when you verify your identify with the postcard they send you, its you, no doubt about it.
Then you put their code in your website head for all your pages; you link to them and they link to you - sweet. You get to correct the map, make sure you set a viable address, whether you have a physical store or not, and pop up the photothat you will want to have showing up on all your search engine entries in the future - the photo that could make you famous!
Link Yourself Together
Once you have both of your Google+ personal and business sites verified, you can link them together on the same identity. You also link there every social media page and site on which you regularly post. Think about it. When you post articles on your own website or here or anywhere else, Google will know it is you, the real you - every time. Because they know it is you, then you become a trusted resource.
Be A Trusted Resource
This makes you more reliable than all the untrusted people and businesses. Think about it. Google's recommendation by validating you as a real person is a pretty good thing. We don't often think about all those who are not. Trust is good.
The code you put on your site will set you up as a "rel='author' " or "rel='publisher' " on your business site. Learn about these "rich snippets" and what they can do for you in the articles I mention below. This sets you up for the ultimate search engine plug - your author photo. Google gifts you with a vote of trust - your very own mug shot on the search page. Really, talk about an eye catcher, and I don't mean the money you spent on your "do" - I mean Google validating you for others.
And People will Find Your photo!
Do you know how many more people buy a book because a photo is on the cover? Same for the search page. If yours is the only photo-graced entry, guess where people's eyes will go. You are more likely to get that dollar-laden click!
Oh yes, and the benefits of all the circles. That's a bit more complicated. We'll let Martin tell you about all that. But you go friending people and circling people and that's another fun game, like dancing. I am focused on the sheer SEO value of all this, though. Let me tell you about the test Mark tried.
Get more SEO Value . . . from Mark
For great instructions for every step of the way . . . . A friendly helpful local guy, Mark Traphagen, has a Google Plus column on Windmill Networking, which is run by Neal Schaffer, one of Forbes Top 50 Most influential people on Social Media. http://windmillnetworking.com/author/mark-traphagen/ will get you to the site. https://plus.google.com/+MarkTraphagen/postsgets you to his google page with tons of googly ideas.
Mark has been into the Google+ thing since close to the beginning and was one of the first in the area testing it out for his company, Virante. He does Google+ almost full time. Here are some of his articles that I found really useful myself when learning this: http://www.virante.org/blog/2012/01/23/our-guides-to-google-for-business-and-personal-use/
One thing he has shared about is that he did a test on a variety of social media, and found, strangely enough, that the changes that took place in his web result ranking after work building his Google+ identity was significantly more noticeable to him than changes in his ranking on other social media sites. I learned about this from him last Spring and checked with him again last evening before writing this. Again, he verified that his experience was a personal boost in his rank that was noticeable to him. Now Google is not promoting this or promising this. Actually Google promises nothing and is trying all manner of things right now, but for Mark, this social media platform was more beneficial than any other social media site.
So, just think about it. This is simple logic really. If Google verifies you and your business identity. If Google invites you to be regarded by them as an "author" on the web. If Google sees your work among others on a given topic or theme and "knows you" but does not necessarily "know" the others, well your guess is as good as mine. But I'm not going to walk past this and throw away free promotion. Are you?