After much speculation and request from business to capitalise on Google+ features, pages have now been implemented into the social network.

Announced via their blog, and still in a closed alpha state, the functionality seems to be very much in the same vein as Facebook; but with some slight tweaks in the form of introducing Hangouts to communicate with your audience, grouping particular subsections of your base into circles, and an interesting form of analytical data called 'Ripples,' allowing you to see how your posts spread across Google+.  They've also introduced a plugin, much like the Facebook 'like' boxes you find on websites that display the amount of people following your site's content, for you to install.  Of course, even though Google+ seems to have reduced in activity recently, massive benefits can be found in the way of improving SEO by staying within the realms of the Google-sphere.  We're waiting with baited breath for our invitation to set up New Rising Media, so watch this space.  Watch the promo video below.

Beyond this, Google have also implemented + straight into their search via 'direct connect.'  Eg: if you search for "+pepsi" you'll go straight to their Google+ page.  Watch a video of this as well after the break.

Source: Official Google Blog.

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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.