Following last week's debut of Google+ Pages for business, the search giant is kicking off a couple of extra options to help companies promote themselves and their pages.
First, Google+ badges can let people add your company to their circles and recommend your page via the +1 button directly from your Web site, as described in a Google blog post last week.
To set up Google+ badges, you first need to sign up with the Google+ platform preview group, if you haven't already done so. You then create and customize your badge at the Google+ configuration tool page. The page will generate a script that you'll code into your Web site to enable and display the badge.
Visitors to your site can then click on the Google+ badge to add your page to their circles and subscribe to your posts. They can recommend both your site and your Google+ page through the +1 button.
Additionally, you can tap into a feature that's just getting off the ground called Google+ Direct Connect. Once enabled, this will allow people to find for your page via a regular Google search by typing + followed by the name of your page, such as +Google.
Second, you can now share images on Google+ using the +1 button, according to another Google blog post.
Running a regular Google search and then clicking on the Images category displays related images as always. But now hovering over any image reveals a +1 button that you can click on to share that image with the people in your circles.
Any image that you've recommend pops up on your Google+ page under the +1's tab accompanied by a link to its source. Clicking on a thumbnail of the image opens its larger version. You can also easily delete any images you no longer wish to share.
Google+ has received its share of complaints and criticisms since the social network debuted over the summer. But it's been continually rolling out new features and options designed to make the service more effective and easier to use.