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Google+ Required

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It's official: You now need a Google+ account to review businesses on Google. So what does that mean for your properties? Simply put: Google+ can't be ignored. If you want your properties' sites to thrive online, you need a presence on Google+.

Google+ requirement highlights Google's new integrated direction

Google has been trying to boost the number of Google+ users since the social network's inception. It began by setting up public Google+ profiles for those who create Google service accounts. According to The Wall Street Journal, a company spokeswoman claimed the business now requires Google+ profiles to enhance the quality of online reviews. While the plan left some Google users irritated, others have accepted the fact that they have to create profiles. In fact, the move has increased usage on Google+.

Google seems to be working to better integrate its services to provide users with a more personalized experience and better use the data it collects. With this plan, the company may be able to better serve users with a customized service and make suggestions based on activity history throughout its various offerings, including Gmail, YouTube, Google+, Zagat and its famed Google search engine.

This integrated approach makes your Google presence even more important. As the company works to better connect all its services, it's important for you to jump on board and take advantage of the possibilities this offers. Users who have recently searched for apartments in Google's search engine may wind up finding suggestions in Gmail or Google+ results soon after, making your overall Google presence extremely important.

Creating a Google+ profile and working with Google integration

When you're creating or updating your Google+ page , it's important to remember several things to ensure it will serve your property as effectively as possible.

Stay active. There's not much point to creating a Google+ profile for your business if you're never going to use it. Remain present on the site by posting frequent updates, getting involved with your current residents who are also on the network and allowing other users easy access to your other social media profiles and website.

Use keywords. You already use keywords on your blog, but using them on Google+ is just as important. Keep in mind all the best online search marketing tactics as you optimize your About tab with keywords and post them frequently in updates to ensure you're getting any traffic from users searching those terms.

Interact, but not too much. There is a fine line between being active on a social site and sharing too much. Take the time to guarantee you're not overloading current residents and interested prospects with constant updates and too much information. Being too active can contribute to a spammy reputation, so you may want to tone it down a notch if you're posting updates a dozen times a day.

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