Google+ recently introduced a new feature called Google+ brand pages. The concept of this, is much like Facebook pages. One of the biggest features allowed companies to benefit from listing a company profile outside of a user profile. This feature in return allowed people to be able to not just tag (using the plus sign ‘+’ ), but allow people to tag actual companies too!
Being that Google+ is already an extension of Google, the search results produced by any company listed on the social platform has great impact… probably as much as Google business listings. Below is a quick insight to statistics of some of the companies that have used their Google+ brand pages and how it has effected their marketing campaigns.
Brands present on Google+
Brightedge research recently, and discovers that the number of companies existing on Google+ through brand pages was 77 in December 2011. This was increased from 61 in November 2011. The amount 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.
This isn’t a big result in comparison to Facebook but that is because Google+ has not yet had enough time in the market. In the research, when all the top brands were compared on both Facebook and Google+, it was noted that Facebook brands had 300 million fans. The same brands on Google+ had 148,000 people who had included these brands to their circles. There were a few companies like Google, IBM, and Vodafone that did not exist on Facebook, but had their page on Google+.
Combining the social and search elements
At the time Facebook launched the Open Graph, its main aim was to collate 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. Some brands have realized that Google in fact may offer them something different in terms of internet marketing because it has a lot control and authority over internet search.
The impact is visible in its early stages, as a lot of Google+ brand pages have started showing up in the search engine result pages. One such example to note 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.
Unfortunately, some people are of the opinion that by including the brand pages in search engines Google is acting a bit like the time when Microsoft included Internet Explorer in Windows during the 90’s. Case in point, two US senators have asked the Federal trade Commission (FTC) to start out an investigation on Google as they believe the company is taking unfair advantage of the dominant position it has on the web search today.
What are your thoughts on Google+ Brand Pages?