Google+ quite recently launched a new feature called Google+ brand pages. This was quite similar to the Facebook pages. The feature also provided certain other perks to the companies as their profile could be searched directly from the Google search bar by adding a ‘+’ before the brand name. Also, the brands can use the Google+ brand badge, which can be put up at the main site to directly connect to the brand page.
Though these are still early days, these brand pages have already had some impact on the search engine’s result pages. Here is quick look at how companies have used these brand pages and how it has affected their internet marketing campaign.
Brands present on Google+
Brightedge recently conducted a research and found out that the number of companies present on Google+ through brand pages was 77 in December 2011 and this number has increased from 61 in November 2011. The number of people who add these brand pages circles has also been increasing considerable at the rate of 50% per month. As of December 2011, there were 222,000 people who had added at least a single brand to their pages.
The picture is a bit bleak when you compare it with Facebook but that is due to the fact that Google+ has not had enough time in the market. When all the top brands were compared on both Facebook and Google+ it was found that Facebook brands had 300 million fans, and the same brands on Google+ had 148,000 people who had added these brands to their circles. There were a few companies like Google, IBM, and Vodafone that were not present on Facebook but had their page on Google+.
Combining the social and search elements
When Facebook launched the Open Graph, its main aim was to combine sites, search and social networks. Google is trying to do the same thing by incorporating various features of its social networking platform into its other services. Many of the brands have realized that Google in fact may offer them something completely different in terms of internet marketing as it has control over internet search like no other company.
The impact is visible already, as a lot of Google+ brand pages have started coming up in the search engine result pages because of search engine optimization. One such example is T-mobile. This gives companies an extra incentive to join Google+ and spend more time on making the brand pages. The move also makes a lot of sense when you consider the fact that 34% of Facebook’s traffic comes from Google, Bing and Yahoo searches.
Some people are of the opinion that by including the brand pages in search engines Google is acting a bit like Microsoft when they included Internet Explorer in Windows during the 90′s. In fact, two US senators have asked the Federal trade Commission (FTC) to carry out an investigation on Google as they believe the company is taking unfair advantage of the dominant position it has on the web today.
What are your thoughts on Google+ Brand Pages?