Google+ is a social networking website created — as you might guess — by the Google of search engine fame. It was first launched during the summer of 2011. The website allows members to create personal profiles and then add friends and family to their personal list of contacts. Much like Twitter and Facebook, Google+ also allows members to “follow” individuals that they are interested in knowing more about, such as actors, athletes and other public figures.
The site also allows members to create social “circles” that are comprised of friends, partners or family members in different categories, such as college friends, school groups, extracurricular communities, work groups or other typical social divisions. As with most social networks, members can comment and post items to others’ profiles.
For those who want to increase visibility of their personal or business WordPress blog on Google+, several WordPress plugins can be particularly useful. WordPress is a popular program that allows anyone to create and update a blog; a few tweaks allow you to integrate it seamlessly with Google+.
If you want to use Google+ to promote your blog, the most obvious place to start is with the official Google+ WordPress plugin. This plugin gives you a variety of extra tools to improve management of your blog; it also includes access to extensive blog metrics and analytics data to help you understand when and how the blog is most commonly viewed so that you can make changes accordingly.
Sociable is a great plugin for bloggers since it adds social networking buttons at the bottom of each post. This allows visitors to “like” the post, to post it to their own pages, or to share it with friends on Google+ and other websites. This can help drastically improve the visibility of a particular post and of your blog overall.
The Post Type Switcher plugin allows bloggers to change their blog to different formats to allow for greater search engine optimization. Custom post types are possible as well; the service works quickly to edit the blog so that you can post it in various formats online to attract different audiences.
WordPress is a useful and well-designed blogging tool, but it can be time consuming to make changes to a post, to add tags or to move pages around on the blog. The Admin Management Xtended plugin makes these tasks faster without requiring you to move to a different editing page or reloading the blog each time an edit or change is posted. If you plan to use social media sites like Google+ to promote your blog, this ease of editing and universal formatting will be particularly important.
Consider adding WordPress JetPack to your WordPress blog and Google+ profile. This plugin offers benefits only available to WordPress.com users up until now. Its features include blog stats, email subscription capabilities, social networking comments, a URL shortener, easy ways to embed media from YouTube, Vimeo and Digg and even a widget to show your most recent Tweets. The plugin also offers an automatic spell-check and grammar review, which helps ensure that your blog is as polished and professional as possible.