This is a new series on the Velocity Blog that aims to move you to try something new or change the way you do things on a Monday. Mondays are great days for starting a-fresh, and assuming you didn’t blast your brain with too much partying over the weekend, you should be up for a shot of motivation. So, to kick things off, I’m urging you to give Google+ a go!

Why Mike?

1 – There is an audience there

359 million active monthly users (source) is nothing to sniff at. A large proportion of that audience are keen to find people, brands etc that are interesting to ‘circle’ and show them the value of the platform early –  if you can stand out amongst those finding their feet, you have a great opportunity to gain attention and make your G+ mark.

2 – Google are gradually making G+ harder to ignore 

YouTube has never really established itself as a social network. Yes, it is the number one video destination, however, the fundamental features of a social network – people communicating, has never really taken off. The comments are owned by trolls for a start! Last month, Google announced that you will have to have a G+ account in order to comment on videos. While this is an attempt to improve the user experience, it can’t be ignored as a wider attempt to bring G+ further into the mainstream. I expect this type of move to continue, with G+ being a entry function to many other Google services.

G+ may seem alien at first, but don't give up! (image - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/ CC)

G+ may seem alien at first, but don’t give up! (image – http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/ CC)

3 – rel=author=SERPwin!

While there is little evidence that content that gets high shares and ‘+1s’ on G+ (the mighty Matt Cutts re-iterated this recently), you shouldn’t ignore the power of ‘authorank’. Authorank allows you take ownership of your web content, and I recommend you set it up asap! Why? Well it makes your content stand-out in the search engine results pages (SERPs), by placing your photo beside your content as below:

Google search result showing authorank.

Google search result showing authorank.

This really does make content jump out among those results that aren’t using authorank, and coupled with a strong headline and meta description, can urge people to click your link. It also displays how many ‘circles’ the author is in, and can be a sign of authority. The catch is that you can’t use authorank without a G+ account. There are instructions here with regards to setting up authorank.

Some advice on writing posts on G+

I’ve noticed that G+ users like a deeper update. For example, if you are posting a link to your latest blog post, take a little time to construct a post that pulls people in. I often do this by explaining what the post covers and then taking an excerpt from it before leading people to the link to the full post. I’m also tempted to feel that this helps with the indexing of the post, but I don’t have any solid evidence of that. All updates you make across social networks need due care and attention, but I feel that G+ needs that little bit extra TLC. Talking of TLC…

Off you go and give G+ a go. Yo. If you do, let me know how you’re getting on!

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