Death, taxes, and Google are all hard to avoid, but that’s not the important thing that taxes and Google share.
Income taxes are in part intended to help pay for the things everyone in the state or country uses, such as police protection or roads, but they are also intended to encourage and discourage certain kinds of behavior. The government sees the value of an educated workforce, for example, so there are tax credits to encourage education.
Google’s main purpose in favoring some kinds of online behavior over others is to provide the best possible search experience. Without that, they’d lose market share and be less able to sell ads, which pay for Google’s many free services.
However, just like the IRS, Google is willing to reward certain kinds of online behavior. One of the most obvious examples is Google Plus. Google wants people to use G+, and they’re willing to mess with rankings a little bit to reward people who do so.
Don’t take our word for it. People have studied this thoroughly. Moz determined that Google +1s are more strongly correlated with rankings than anything else but page authority, even though use of G+ continues to be low. Google says that private sharing accounts for most of the activity at G+, and that’s why it looks like people don’t use it much. Make of that what you will; we see in our clients’ analytics that G+ is usually far below the other social media platforms when it comes to bringing traffic to the websites.
If G+ doesn’t bring traffic to your website and doesn’t create conversions, you probably don’t want to devote much to it in the way of resources. However, it can be a good long-term investment to establish a limited presence, no matter what.
G+ rewards unique content more than other social networks, so put a series of G+ posts on your calendar now and then. Make sure your company page looks good. Link your company G+ page with your Places page as well as with your YouTube channel. Drop by occasionally and see if there are any good conversations going on. Hold a hangout or two.
There will probably be a payoff in your future.