A new thing has come up, Google+ Pages. You might have noticed at the bottom right if you do Google plus (or, should I say g+). You might have already added yourself a page, and why won’t you, just a couple of clicks would fetch you a clean, insightful Google+ page. Although Google is targeting business per Se, from local business to big brands, the ease and clean texture of the page might be no trouble for any one who is interested in building an identity.
According to the company, “life is not limited to the people we know and interact with on a regular basis, there’s more to life. A number of television shows, sports team or food preferences have somehow become relevant in this information age. Thus, Google+ pages would essentially serve as an extension to ‘people to people’ connection, adding business and brands that people interact with,” which is nothing different from Facebook.
The feature started on a limited basis about three days earlier, but soon was made available to all. In practice, Google+ page is just another Google+ account, one can post, engage in a hangout, add to its circles in the same way as an individual would, thus it does not make sense for an individual to make a Google+ page, it is rather important to the business segment and to a person branding an identity.
Here’s how you set-up a Google+ Page:
- Log-in to your Google+ account
- When on home, you would find “Google+ Pages” widget on the bottom right
- Click on it, and you would reach “create a Google+ page”
- Pick a category that suits you
- Add your info and agree to the “Pages Terms”
- You are good to go, find yourself a fine Google+ page
- Switching between your Google+ account and Google+ Page is also quite easy, just find it beside you profile pic on home page
Most would agree that Google+ is cleaner, more content conscious and the added services by Google of youtube, picasa etc., coupled with a promise of upcoming apps is an attractive gesture. Google+ page is no different, and Google does well at differentiating it from Facebook pages, implied implicitly.
The feature that would help your page:
- Currently, to connect your site to your Google+ page, Google only offers badge (accessed by clicking get started on home), which directs people interested towards the page. But if you created a page, you might have seen ‘standard badge’, somewhat like Facebook likebox with add to circle instead of like, soon to come.
- Since, Google is the largest search engine, the inclusion of +1 button directly reflects onto the listing while searching.
- The biggest boost would be to display adds, where a +1 button would do wonders, and like Google says, would mobilize social-enabled campaigns. This would do well to monetize the web.
- Direct Connect is one attractive feature that distinguishes it entirely from Facebook. It is more likeable to business groups and individuals, where the page has been clubbed together with search, which Facebook can’t do. For instance, if you wish to search for Angry Birds, all you need to do is type “+ Angry Birds” and you would reach Angry Birds Google+ page.
- The big thing is the measure, i.e., analyzing one’s page with Google’s rich Google Analytics. It is far superior to insight on Facebook page, and would reciporacte well to the owner in delivering any adjustments to implore more traffic, and on a plus side, one could play with keywords to be precise.
What won’t help your page:
- As Google says, “It’s no social network, it’s an identity service.” But theft of identity on social media is another problem that Google+ Pages would face. The presence of multiple pages on Google+ for the same brand would certainly leave a fan confused. However, Google is rolling out badges to prevent impersonation. You could identify genuine pages by running over a check mark besides brand name on Google+ Page, if real it would read ‘verified name’.
- The initial edition of Google+ Page lacks applications, and interaction. It is somehow limited in features, but of-course it just started. But the clean texture is somehow gaining more positive reviews. One cannot stop but think, if Google is doing what Facebook did to MySpace. It’s hard to tell if it would affect your page, probably not.
- Don’t get all puffed up with the +1 display adds, since irrelevant and heavy add pages are suspected to pay penalty, if Google’s spam team is to be believed.
It would be too early to tell if Google+ Pages would change it for Google, but it certainly is a step in the right direction, for the similarity with Facebook is more apparent.
Google+ is now one of the services offered in the Google Apps. It’s integration with other apps such as gmail, youtube, docs, picasa etc., would imply better content management. It could become a grown-up section to the masses with clarity and profoundness.Facebook added subscribe button to it’s existing framework to cover the circle buzz of Google+, but certainly the whole cluttered arrangement is apparently not that fun. The simplistic approach of Google+ is more likable.
It might not seem evident, but Google is more importantly integrating it’s various services and employing Google+ to use these services for the purpose of interaction.
As for the pages, the 40 million user-base of Google+, with their +1’s would readily affect the search results that the whole world does, thus the offer for promotion still stands. Google+ pages are still post based, but the addition of Circles provides the owner with an opportunity to spread news catering to specific sections of audience via the circles, the best part is circles can be anything you can think of, a flexibility not on Facebook. The profiling on Facebook tracks friends, family, places one goes to, what they are doing, while Google with the web search history records, knows what a person searches for and what content is visited, something which can be seen on Gmail ads. The blend of two is what Google+ will essentially emphasize upon, and will drive the marketeers crazy to fetch some part. Thus, Google+ Pages would lessen the gap between social and search, which is a real threat to Facebook on advertisement front.
Find Google Online Help here.