If you’ve ever attended a conference, luncheon, or workshop, marketers are always stressing the importance of using Google+ as part of a social media strategy. You most likely have heard things like:

“It is the next big social media network.”

“The number of people using Google+ keeps growing.”

“Google+ is the future of social media.”

Although the validity of these individual statements are up for debate, one overarching theme holds true: Google+ is an important piece of the social media puzzle.

It is a piece of the puzzle that is typically overlooked due to the lack of a user base that fits the target market for most companies. A large number of people who have Google+ accounts have no idea that they even have one (if you have a Gmail or YouTube account, you have one). When you wake up in the morning or before going to bed, most people take a look at Facebook and Twitter, not Google+. Since it is not a staple in most people’s daily life, it has the perception of being a network that is used by marketers to talk about marketing.

Although you audience doesn’t typically use Google+ multiple times per day, there is a hidden benefit that is typically overlooked by many companies. Companies that use Google+ obtain an advantage in the world of search. Google essentially rewards those who use their service by offering special search features reserved only for Google+ users.

If you haven’t noticed already, your search and web history is being tracked each time you are online. Google knows what websites you visit, what you searched for last night, and can even predict what you might search for in the future. Using this knowledge, Google aims to provide the best answer to any question you might have. Since your Google+ account is tied to your overarching Google account, Google places a high value on the content that is published on its own native social platform.

Content that is published on Google+ is essentially given bonus points when it comes to search engine rankings. The bump in search engine rankings comes down to the variables in Google’s algorithm (which is always changing and improving to make the search experience more user friendly) and how the social aspect of search is growing.

Though it may seem counterintuitive to publish content on a platform that is not used by your target market, it can actually increase your search ranking and in turn increase traffic to your website. If you aren’t using Google+ already, you should give it a try and start publishing content today. It will put you ahead of the other companies in your industry and keep you on the cutting edge of the integration of social and search results.

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