Google does April Fools jokes every year, and in 2007 the joke was a rollout of the new feature "Gmail Paper." But, we can't just laugh with Google, we need to work with it too.
This was a hoax of course, but it gets an honorable mention in lists of the best Google April 1st hoaxes.
What's not a joke is Google+, and Google isn't going to let it die. It's very different from Facebook and Twitter, but has some feature similarities with both. The major news that changed search forever came when Google started including Google+ posts in search results. I've written about this here before.
However, Google has been getting more serious about integrating Google+ into search and a recent article at mashable.com states: "For businesses, the sell has been more subtle. Since Google integrated Google+ results into search under its Google Plus Your World initiative in January, the word has gotten out that lack of a Google+ presence could affect organic search results. The upshot: If you don’t have a Google+ page, your placement for various search terms will suffer."
What I want to show you here is not how to create a Google+ business page. It's easy and Google walks you through it here. Here I want to help you to understand the importance of letting Google know the connection between your Google+ business page and your real estate website. It's done with links, and is easy. You need to link from your Google+ business page to your real estate website, and from your website to your Google+ page.
Here's an example from my About.com business page, at my "About" tab as the top arrow indicates. I link it in the website field to my About.com site, but it's here that you'd link to your real estate website. This is very important as the first step in letting Google make the connection between the two sites and the content you place on them.
In this image we see the Google+ page here that gives you the HTML code to link from your site back to your Google+ page with a badge. Find a sidebar or somewhere on your site, choose one of the badge styles and sizes, and paste in the code. This completes the linking of the two sites, and it gives your site visitors an invitation to Follow you on Google+.
RealtySoft Gadget Makes This Easy
RealtySoft has their text gadget that allows the pasting in of html code and the placement of the gadget on the site with a "drag and drop" interface.
The image above is the box with the code I copied from Google+ pasted into it. The next image is the badge display. This one is just a bit large for the sidebar, though everything shows. You can use others that are smaller and will center well in the sidebar.
If you're doing anything else right now about SEO and you haven't done this ... stop and get it done! Google is serious about the future of social and search integration, so don't get left behind.