Perhaps you saw the announcement of Google+ for Business--it made big news for a day, but there isn't that much to say about it. Honestly, if you understand how Google+ for individuals works, it will take about ten minutes to get up to speed on Google+ for Business, which is rather disappointing, because after months of development, Google added just a few fields for a business name and a photo.

So, if you have a business or a brand or a product or a local place, you can now set up a Google+ page. That's about it. Lots of businesses jumped in at launch and Google famously deleted all those profiles, so now everyone can get in and put their business name in. That's about the end of the excitement.

Now, you should do that. Your profile can help Google understand who you are, where your Web site is, and it can use your Google profile to connect lots of other stuff. Putting a +1 button on your page can't hurt anything. And the more Google knows about your social media footprint, the more credit Google gives you for high-quality content, so you need to create a Google Profile and Google+ pages to maximize your impact here.

But it's still disappointing. I really expected that Google was holding off on business pages because they were doing something really interesting, but they didn't. Now, you might argue that Google+ all by itself is interesting, so opening that up for businesses is interesting. Perhaps. And for all you out there who are not familiar with Google+, here is a cheat sheet of just some of the functions:

  • Privacy. Facebook scurried to match this feature because it got so much attention. Google+ Circles allow you to decide which of your connections can see which posts, instead of sharing everything with everyone.
  • Huddles. These are similar to text messages within your Circles.
  • Hangouts. Some people have found this the most interesting feature--they are Skype-like multi-user video chats that are great for impromptu Web meetings.

These are all cool features, but they were already there, so the fact that businesses can use them is not the most exciting announcement Google has ever made. So, if you liked Google+, you'll like Google+ for Business, because they are hard to tell apart.

Originally published on Biznology


November 16, 2011





Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include ClickZ Live, RKG Summit, Ticket Summit, Webdagene, the CiTE conference, and the Forrester Marketing Conference.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.






Comments(14)

I'm pretty much operating under the "it can't hurt" attitude when it comes to Google+. It's another potential touch point to interact with your target audience, a good place to share content and maybe get a few quality links. As far as I can tell, Google+ is still very much populated with marketing and tech professionals. If brands really want to succeed on Google+, there needs to be more of the "average" user.

Totally agree, Nick. I haven't spent much time on it yet and I am not sure it is worth my time at this point. But certainly it can't hurt.

I was rather disappointed with the business pages roll-out as well. I thought it was going to be different than the personal pages. Hopefully with enough feedback they can change it.

The problem for me is that Google has handed control over brand pages to individual users' accounts, and those accounts may be disputed when those users leave their companies.

Of course, corporations can insist that only corporate email accounts be used to create these "Business pages", but then the individuals cannot use those accounts as their own; hence, Google will force businesses to create their own Google+ accounts anyway -- thus defeating the purpose of what they intended.

I haven't used it much at all. Thanks for this post as you have saved me some time. Appreciate it.

I think Facebook is here still in the lead and Google+ will need a lot of time to catch him. In the end people will decide.

I agree, Google+ for business did not meet the hype. It is true it will not hurt to be on it, but I think that businesses that adopt it first will have an advantage because there is not as much competition for content. Meaning the people who are on Google+ have a better chance of seeing your content and paying more attention to it. On the other side there are only a select few groups of people who are using Google+ right now. At Chatmeter we added +1 and a link to our G+ account because it won't having.

Here's a look at what features Google+ for business could offer against Facebook Pages. Check out: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/235314/why_facebook_pages_will_triumph_over_google_business_profiles.html

Well, of course Google+ pages are still at the early stages. That's why I'm not as disappointed as most of you. Still I do hope that those business pages get a small lift so that more people see a reason in plussing you.

I haven't seen Google's true strategy on how they plan to separate themselves from Facebook with Google+. What does it offer that other social platforms do not offer? Thanks for sharing.

I agree, google+ pages were a let down so far.

I do think thought that the +1 button is going to really change things on the web.

Here is an article I wrote on how I think google will use this information in the future.
http://www.profitworks.ca/blog/245-google-plus-one

Hi Benjamin,

Google+ doesn't offer much that other platforms don't. The major difference isn't in what is offered, but in what the default is. Facebook, by default, shares whatever you post with your friends. Twitter, by default, shares what you post with everyone, whether you are friends or not. Google+ has you choose the group to share with (they call the group "circles").

You can post whatever you want so any group can see it with every service, but the defaults matter. If you like the default of Google+, then it might be for you.

Given that G+ is owned by the GooglePlex and they are out to regain market share from Facebook it is likely that as SEO people we need to be as engaged with this social network as much as we can be.

Google+ has promise but it'll be difficult to get the majority of people to shift away from Facebook and/or Tumblr. Its got a few rough edges regarding integration with other services like Buzz but I expect Buzz to eventually get dropped since Google+ does everything Buzz does but better.
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Search Engine Guide > Mike Moran > Google+ for Business doesn't have a lot of pluses