Is it Time to Join Google+?

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Google announced that search results will now include posts from its social network, Google+. Called “Search Plus Your World,” the new format will include public posts and posts shared privately with you by your friends. Search results will be commingled with Web results.

The new feature has generated a lot of comment, most of it critical. (Read the New York Times, PaidContent, Mashable, and SearchEngineLand articles to get a good overview.)

With personal results now turning up in a Google search, what does this mean for businesses and personal brands? While Google+ is still a fledgling social network, it’s potential shouldn’t be discounted. Search Plus Your World is a good reason to pay attention.

Every business should have a Google+ page, even if you have it on low maintenance. If you’re looking to promote your personal brand – whether you’re looking for a new job or new clients – a little bit of engagement in Google+ can be worth it. In the case of Search Plus Your World, it could be very worth it.

For example, let’s say your expertise is in Drupal development. Every week you write a blog post, and send about 20 tweets. If you share that content on your  Google+ profile, it will likely show up in search results when people in your network search for Drupal news and information.

And now’s a good time to promote thought leadership on Google+. Relative to other social networks, there aren’t many people there, so the content you feed into this network has a better chance of being seen. With social search, it has a better chance of being read.

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