Google+ “Pages” Coming For Businesses

Where are the Google+ company “Pages” for brands, something similar to Facebook’s “Fan Pages?” They’re coming apparently.

Google’s head of Commerce and Local Jeff Huber confirmed what some people were hoping for: the imminent arrival of Google+ pages for entities. This was in a comment on Mike Blumenthal’s blog:

And pre-emptively answering a question — yes, we will have (smb) business profile pages on Google+. I can’t announce a launch date yet, but we want to make them *great*, and we’re coding as fast as we can.

Right now it’s pretty tough to make Google+ work for companies. Danny had some choice words for big G about the challenges of setting up company pages currently. The prompted this response from one of the chief architects of Google+, Bradley Horowitz:

Let me be clear – and I’m sorry if this wasn’t obvious – we are not currently supporting brands, organizations, and non-human entities in the Google+ field trial. While we should have been clearer about this, there are some fields in the registration form (asking for a first name, a last name, an age and a gender) that indicate that.

Supporting these non-human entities is an obviously great feature – we have no allergy to it at all! It’s just not part of the system we are currently testing.

The field trial has limitations that I know are frustrating – ranging from lack of “obvious” features to inability to invite the people you most want to share with… We weren’t kidding when we said this was early and a test… and if the product leads to more frustration than you can bear, then that’s understandable and I promise that you will see fast and meaningful progress… and you can jump back in when we meet your bar for minimum viable functionality.

And Google group product manager Christian Oestlien added:

We definitely appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to get a presence going for Search Engine Land in the Google+ Project. We are obviously only a few days into this, but initially we wanted to make sure that we optimized for the individual use case. Building great consumer products is a necessary prerequisite for compelling business products.

In the future we may want to enable Google+ to support businesses and brands, but we want to make sure we do that in the right way. The things that matter for an individual user aren’t the same things that matter for businesses and we want to make sure both have a great experience in Google+.

For now we are actively discouraging businesses to adopt consumer profiles, but we have heard the feedback and will obviously do what we can down the line to build optimal experiences for all of the entities (human or otherwise) that make up our social and interest graphs. Like we’ve said from the start (3 days ago) this is just the beginning of a very long journey towards making Google, our properties and products more social.

Here is the official language we’ve used around all this stuff. Feel free to ping me separately if you want/need more explanation. http://www.google.com/support/+/bin/answer.py?answer=1228271

That link says that Google+ accounts used just for businesses aren’t allowed. Oops. Search Engine Land already made one:

We’re not the only ones. Mashable, perhaps, was the first with this page here.

Once these pages/profiles arrive officially, they will probably operate in a way that’s pretty similar to Facebook Pages, but with some Google SEO benefits. They will be indexed, “followable” and individual updates or posts can be +1′d — much or all of which will be fed back into search results and rankings (but I’m getting ahead of myself).

The incentives for companies to do this are almost self-evident, especially as Google+ continues to gain users. However,  the specific challenges of getting small businesses involved in Google+ are great, as well as managing the relationship between Places and Google+ Pages.

Postscript: See our follow-up story, Google: Hold Off On Creating Business Profiles On Google+, “Non-User Profiles” Will Be Shut Down.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: +1 | Google: Google+ | Top News

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.whitefireseo.com Mitch Monsen

    No lie, I posted a comment on Google+ not 10 minutes ago asking for this very feature.

    Well played, Google. Well played.

  • http://www.coldfusioning.com/ ibjhb

    It would be nice to have Google+ and +1 on Google Apps accounts….

  • http://www.webmediaexpert.com Michelle Hummel

    WOW…..Facebook who?

  • http://www.gamerstube.com Joe Youngblood

    myspace and facebook learned the hardway ‘actively discouraging’ doesnt work. if you dont supply the means to create a business page, then you will set yourself back when you attempt to introduce that feature. even worse facebook has several pages for brands. A) the page the brand owner/manager creates, B) the employer page created from the work history field, C) the check-in page, and god knows how many more.

  • http://randyduermyer.com/blog/ Randy Duermyer

    Sounds like another case of “follow-the-leader.” Where’s the innovation?

  • http://www.gamerstube.com Joe Youngblood

    its google, they stopped innovating (in web dev) about 8 years ago.

    btw, has anyone noticed the garbage google is shoving into the internet for local? hotpot, places, now Google+ businesses? why not just integrate and cut down on all the junk that other SE’s have to index and filter?

  • http://www.theanimalhouse.net Dan Martin ✔

    Not really sure why any small business would be reluctant to jump on the google business + . Then again I am not really sure why small businesses are still to this day reluctant to jump online at all…

  • http://www.facebook.com/danitalicious Danita Maldonado

    I asked this question yesterday as soon as I saw the Mashable page. I’m glad they are waiting and working on making it right. I have had many issues dealing with multiple ‘official’ pages, places pages, business pages, etc. on Facebook. Plus, consider the playing field leveled as this platform is so new. Businesses could literally be on Google+ for Biz from practically inception. That’s something that’s making me giddy. Esp if Google comes through with all the search/SEO that will obviously be included. Can’t wait!

  • http://www.marketingsutra.com/ alex grechanowski

    That’s interesting. Hopefully, something will be added to GA too, for the tracking purposes.

    Can’t wait to see: we’re hiring a proactive Google+ expert with at least 3 yr experience to join our team ;-)

  • http://vabulous.com/ S.V.M.

    Awesome post, just applied to a google + business profile we’ll see what happens.

  • http://nithin.net edude

    I really hope that they figure out a way to verify the businesses/identities.

  • http://www.philipbroadhead.org Philip Broadhead

    Personally I think that Google+ is just bringing the better features of the other social media packages all under one site that is easy to access. As it is new it will probably take a while to get everything in sync with each other.

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