Up until this point, Google+ users have had only the ability to connect with other people. This Monday, however, Google announced the introduction of Google+ Pages, a service that allows you to connect with organizations and brands you care about.
As Google describes it, “Google+ has always been a place for real-life sharing, and Google+ Pages is no exception. After all: behind every page (or storefront, or four-door sedan) is a passionate group of individuals, and we think you should able to connect with them too. For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world.”
It’s likely that Google+ Pages will have a high level of visibility thanks to their integration with basic Google search. Pages places will generally turn up in the regular search results below an organization’s own website. Google also plans to enable a feature they call Direct Connect. Limited pages have this feature at the moment, but Google states many more are coming in the future. You will be able to go direct to pages that have Direct Connect enabled simply by adding the '+' in a search query followed by the name of a page.
Although the service is promising, a few hangups still exist. Currently, only one user can be registered to any given page, making management of a page difficult for a larger organization or department. Some early users have also noticed that it is far too easy to accidentally publish information to an account unintentionally. Finally, a Google+ pages steer users away from companies’ actual websites in favor of their G+ Page. This may be a drawback to some users, however, owning a space on Google+ is yet another web presence that no business will want to miss out on.
Ready to get your business set up on Google+ Pages? Head to the Google+ registration page to get started. Businesses are asked to classify under one of the following categories:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organization
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Businesses are allowed to create as many pages as they like, providing you the ability to have a separate page for a particular product, product line, or event. Your Google+ page will have a +1 button, similar to those now found around the web. As a page however, you won’t have the ability to +1 other pages.
Local business pages have additional functionality which allows you to provide a phone number and address that will add a map and local contact information to your page. Although similar to the already existing Google Places service, they presently remain two separate services that must be managed individually.
We’re excited about the new ability to connect with our audience on G+. Check out the SEO.com G+ page and let us know what you think.