google+It doesn’t take long after you test the waters of social media to find there are a host of advantages for individuals and businesses. If you’ve witnessed what sites like Facebook or LinkedIn can do for you, then you are going to love Google+. If you haven’t signed up yet, or don’t even know what it’s all about, here is a short description in addition to just a few important points that describe some of its benefits.

What is Google+?

Google+ is a social network and profile listing owned by Google and launched last year that’s already nearing a half a billion users. Those on Google+ are able to add people to their circle of friends, share content, post statuses and send messages. Closely tied to your Google email account and profile, the platform ties into all of the search engine giant’s many prominent features, from local search to trending content.

Now onto why you should use it.

1. Connect with Important People

Remember the first day, you set up your Facebook page and couldn’t believe how quickly you were able to connect with everyone from long-lost friends to distant family members? Google+ makes it easy to make connections with a much wider pool of individuals and helps to classify your relationships based on how you interact. In business and in life, connections are everything, and Google+ is a great way to establish yours on the Web.

2. Find More Relevant Content

To find the core of everything that Google+ is about, you need to look no further than the Google search engine. With the infrastructure of that powerful instrument already in place, Google+ is able to better connect you more accurately with the content that you’ll value most. The more you use G+, the more it not only becomes intuitive to your needs but helps other users you are connected with locate the goods, services or content you produced.

3. Your Own Personal Spotlight

Even better than liking something on Facebook, Google+’s “+1″ feature allows you to shine a light on the content you want to draw attention to. So if you published an article on an important blog or your business was featured in a prominent review, +1 is a simple and effective way to spread the news. The real bonus in this regard, however, is your +1 serves to ultimately boost the overall relevance rating of the content you selected.

4. Perspective on What’s Popular

When you +1 something on Google+, you can allow select individuals from your circle to see what you are interested in or promoting. When someone in one of your circles does the same, you gain insight into what’s popular and resonating within your community of friends or valued clients. The more pluses a story, product or review receives, the easier it is for the search engine to identify it as important, giving your circle of friends the desirable ability to carry influence online.

5. Improve Your SEO and Page Rankings

While traditional SEO still remains in play whether you have a blog or e-commerce website, Google +1 gives you a new tool to boost your rankings. By adding a +1 to spread the word about an article you posted to a blog or a positive product review, you are spreading awareness between your circles. The more people you are linked to, and in turn give your content the Plus One endorsement, the higher the impact to your search engine standing in terms of importance and authority over a given subject.

6. Own Your Content

One of the problems with the Internet is it’s hard to get credit for the content you produce, and even more difficult to keep it from being stolen and reproduced. Google+ is the new, more effective way to put your name on what you make, and represent the overall authorship you have online. The better the content, the more prolific, and the more followers, the stronger your author rank.

7. Incredible Potential

As previously stated, there are already more than 400 million registered users on Google+, with about a quarter of those active on a regular basis. As that number continues to grow with Google’s pervasive influence, being well established on G+ gives you access to an unlimited pool of connections, clients or customers. So, whether you are building your following as a blogger or selling classroom furniture to privately run schools, Google+ can help you find your audience.

While these seven reasons for getting on Google+ are compelling enough, it’s impossible to break down all the advantages in a single article. Just know if you want to be traveling on the same train as the most powerful entity on the Web, G+ is your ticket to ride.