Google Plus (or Google+ for short, or G+ for even shorter) is search giant Google's latest attempt to 'go social'. It is doing this so that it can make its search results more lively, and to try and bolster its position as the place you go when you need to know something.
The essential components of Google+ are circles (where you follow people by chosen interests or relationships), huddles (instant messaging with one or more people) and search. Yes, you will even see regular web search results within your view, and ads will crop up once (or if) this social platform takes off.
There is competition of course, and Google has been accused of copying and playing catch-up - not tactics that got it where it is in 2011. Facebook and Twitter are well established, and are pretty much understood by the general public. It remains to be seen whether Google+ can break out of the blogosphere that features early adopters and tech junkies. The user experience of Google+ is generally appealing, but you will sometimes get long delays (or even failures) waiting for images to load. This performance issue is surprising, given Google's immense computing resource, but they will be sure to sort it out pretty soon.
At the moment there's no official website integration, but here's something from widgetsplus.com: