The barrier between search and social is gone. The two, in fact, have joined forces becoming a must use tool for every business. Recently Google+ has taken a lot of heat in the form of some saying they “copied” Facebook. Google has come out and said they didn’t copy them and in fact have created something better. Did they copy the idea, or simply take an idea and make it better?

Throughout the year of 2011, we saw the rise of small to large businesses joining Facebook. In the middle of it all, Google decided to join the party with Google+ and for the most part, they were just pushed under the rug as businesses already had their hands full with Facebook. Now that they have finally learned how to integrate Facebook into their plans, why should they take the time to learn Google+?

Google+ gives businesses more content to be found on search engines. A businesses Facebook page will show up in search results, but the content (likes, shares, and comments) will not. Following all that information might be easy, just go to the Facebook page to follow and the content is there for everyone to see.

The difference with Google+ is that all material posted and shared adds to the content that the search engine must crawl through in pulling up results. For those that understand SEO that is a good thing, for those who are a little-confused let’s look at it in a different way.

For example, purposes only let’s use Toyota to break this down. Toyota has just fewer than 700,000 followers on Facebook with just over 10,000 people talking about it (comments, shares, and likes). Now those 10,000 comments and shares can only be found on Facebook by their followers. So when you search Toyota on a search engine those comments and shares are not crawled through making the only result from the page being the page itself. In other words, their 10,000 comments are equal to one in the eyes of a search engine.

Now if they had that much traffic on their Google+ page, that 10,000 would equal 10,000, giving search engines more content to crawl through and increasing the chance to be found and ranked higher in a search.

With that, all said, Toyota doesn’t really need to worry about being found as much as your small business. Continue to use Facebook as it is still very valuable for your small business to grow, but the time has come to also focus on Google+. It will take time to learn and monitor but is very essential to use for growth and development for your business.