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Google+ is often overlooked as a social network despite the fact that it’s owned by the largest search engine on the net. We all think about our SEO and how Google sees out websites, so surely it makes sense to be part of their network.

SEO benefits

Each Google+ page is automatically indexed by the search engine. This means you don’t have to wait around for pings or for the bots to crawl the site. If you create a Google+ page, Google sees it straight away.

This also means that any links you add into your About page are looked at by Google. This is great for SEO. Take a look at Brian Ferdinand Liquid Holdings to see this is done well.

Local

If you have a business and you want people to find it then you should get yourself a Google Local page. This means that when someone searches for your business, all the details will appear on the right-hand side of the search results. Here you can show off information such as address, opening times, reviews and a map.

A lot of users would rather look at this information rather than trying to find your website.

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Another presence on the web

It’s always good to spread yourself around the web. This means that when people search for you or your business, they have another way to find more about what you do. You should keep Google+ updated as much as you can so people can get more of an insight into your interests, events you’re putting on and the work you are doing.

You can also connect with customers and other businesses when you comment on their updates. Make sure you reply to any comments that come you way too.

Hangouts

Google Hangouts are video chats between two people (or a small group, if you’d prefer). A great way to connect with you audience is by scheduling a group hangout. There are loads of brands who have done this with bloggers and celebrities as well as organising things like question and answer sessions.

You can also use Google Hangouts as a conferencing method. It’s all built into the web, which makes it more convenient than Skype. A group of people can have a meeting even when they are on opposite sides of the world. Of course, you’ll need a good webcam and decent internet connection for this to work properly.

Google Authorship

We’ve all seen the search results that have images next to them. This is because those authors have connected their articles to their Google+ account. A lot of blogs will now have this built in but if you write on a website, you should link to your Google+ using the rel=author tag as part of the link HTML.

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You should then add that article to your Google+ account under the ‘Contributor to’ part.