How can Google+ changes help businesses with their profiles?

Social networking websites have helped to level the playing field for small businesses, reducing the overhead costs of marketing through applications such as local search marketing, video websites and professional profiles.

One of the best tactics for enhancing a company's Google Maps marketing or other SEO effort is by expanding across the internet. SEO doesn't look only at a business' website; it pays attention to what it's doing across the web - that means on social networks as well.

As a result, it's important that companies stay current with social networks' updates and new features. For example, Google+ recently announced its plans to roll out a new look for its relatively young social network.

The layout overhaul will allow users to create a more customized profile - and thus experience - via the network, Mashable reports. Over the next few days, new features will be introduced to Google+, including the ability to customize applications and a new Explore page.

Many experts have noticed the similarity the new updates bear to one of Google+'s main competitors - Facebook. New profile pages are reportedly reminiscent of Facebook's new Timeline layout, while Explore draws on Facebook's newsfeed, which allows users to see what's interesting and trending across their network, Mashable writes.

Some of the new features allow users to more easily navigate the website. When users are looking to peruse their news stream, they will be able to access a "ribbon" of applications on the side that can be reorganized or hidden for ease of use.

"Taken together, these powers make it easier to access your favorites, and to adjust your preferences over time," wrote Google senior vice president Vic Gundotra, according to Mashable. "We've also built the ribbon with the future in mind, giving us an obvious (and clutter-free) space for 'The Next Big Feature,' and 'The Feature After That.' So stay tuned."

However, not everyone is singing the praises of Google+'s attempts at redesign. Venture Beat reports that many developers have been calling out Google for not giving them fair warning, and as a result, a number of their applications and extensions have broken, i.e. they're not compatible with the social network.

Google responded that is it hasn't officially allowed developers on the network yet, so it believes it shouldn't be held accountable, the website writes.