As the undisputed leaders of search, it was obvious from the moment that Google announced they were making their first foray into the world of social media that it was going to have major implications on the way that products and brands are found via the search engine. The result is Google, Search Plus Your World, the most personalised style of online search to date.

A.J. Kohn of Blind Five Year Old has written an extensive and thorough guide to all things Google+ that is well worth reading if you run or market your business online. For those short of time though, I’ll cut a long story short and tell you that Search+, as Kohn has named it, no longer bases search results on pages that are most relevant to your search term but instead provides results that are relevant to your search term and to you, personally.

The first point to make, and one that I can’t stress enough, is to get your business on Google+! Then, implement a +1 button on your website – include it on all your product pages if you are an e-commerce company. A +1 works much like a Facebook ‘like’ or a Twitter ‘tweet’ in that it shares that page on the user’s Google+ profile. The (very important) difference here is that the number of +1s a page has will affect where it ranks in Google search results.

When signed into Google, users will see a mixture of generic search results and pages that people in their circles (think, ‘friends’) have +1’d. Having many +1s, regardless of whether they are from the user’s circle lists or not, will also bump a page up in the search results. Another point to note is that content you write on your Google+ page, whether a personal profile or a business page, can also appear in search results, especially if many people have +1’d it, which doesn’t happen with Facebook or Twitter posts.

Basically, by creating a Google+ presence and encouraging website visitors to +1 your pages, you will be increasing your search rankings in a way that may be more effective than any other SEO technique to date. With many businesses yet to cotton on, right now Google+ is offering a low-competition, high-result method of marketing which any business would be crazy to pass up on!