It’s no secret that search engines have used the content of aggregators and popular platforms to influence their algorithms for quite a while now. Facebook directly affects rankings with their Like metric, individual Tweets from authorities are also integrated directly into ranking factors with extreme speed.
So how does Google+ work, regarding SEO?
One of the main things to keep in mind about the platform is that Google owns it; they are quite likely to make sure that everything posted with Google+ gets indexed properly, tending to give their own indicators a relatively strong rank.
This has been proven relatively definitively by Rank Fishkin from SEOMoz. He directly ran an experiment, asking his readership to +1 (the Google+ metric of interest, similar to a Facebook Like) a site, without engaging it in any other way.
The results were incontrovertible. Simply through the addition of some new Google+ +1’s, the website was able to able to move from the 16th spot for a particular keyword all the way up to the 6th, in a matter of days.
In other words, when one of the major search engine players releases a new content metric, it pays to look at what they are doing, and integrate the usage into your current efforts if at all possible.
There are two other big benefits that using Google+ brings to your SEO; the ability to incorporate directly into the Google Authorship platform (again, Google+ was built from the ground up to directly interact with all of the Google products), and the ability to promote your own listings using your very own Google+ profile, which is directly integrated into all other major social platforms, making link building and SEO a snap.