Are you a Google+ user? If not, then the main reason you may know about Google+ is by using YouTube, which until mid-2015 required a Google+ membership in order to comment on YouTube content. In the past 2 weeks, Google has rolled out a redesigned Google+. The goal of the redesign is to help businesses “collaborate and communicate more effectively.”

Let’s take a look at some of Google+’s new and updated features to see how they might help your small business succeed.

  • New home page that enables users to find what they want faster
  • New notifications center that helps users get up-to-date quickly
  • Users can add links and photos to their comments
  • Community owners and moderators can control/approve member posts

All new and updated features are available on the web version, Android, and iOS. Current Google+ users will be able to revert back to the previous version by clicking the link in the bottom left-hand corner. Google hasn’t divulged how long that option will be available.

A New Focus?

Perhaps the real update to Google+ is not in any specific new feature, but in an increased focus on the Communities and Collections sections. Bradley Horowitz, a Google VP, penned: “Google+ is quickly becoming a place where people engage around their shared interests, with the content and people who inspire them.”

Horowitz leads a newly formed team, called SPS: Streams, Photos, and Sharing. It seems one of their greatest tasks is to take the large, amorphous, do-it-all social media app and give it a focus. Until now, Google+ has been so broad that most users, including small business owners, didn’t know what to use it for. Communities and Collections allow users to follow a particular idea or thing, rather than a person or company. Try it:

Jaana Nystrom, who manages several brand pages on Google+, recently posted that her “collections get more followers than her profile…(which) proves that people like to follow their interests, perhaps more than they like to follow persons or pages.”

Ultimately, Google plans to make Google+ a core feature of Google for Work. They hope that businesses will use it to collaborate on ideas and get workers engaged in industry-related communities. What will the impact on business website SEO? For now, that is the million-dollar question.

Do you use Google+ for work-related purposes? We welcome your comments! Let us know what ways you’ve used Google+ to enhance the web presence of your small business.

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