by Nathan S
Google+ has finally enabled its users to create pages for businesses associated with their Google+ profile. So far, this usage is rather limited (only one profile can be associated with a brand page), but this will likely change as Google continues to tweak and expand their budding social network.
Google+ Brand pages are a lot like Facebook’s fan pages in most senses – right now, the biggest difference is in how these pages are presented, and how they work into Google’s search algorithms. From what I’ve seen so far, Google+ has a simpler layout than Facebook, encouraging content-based rather than image-based social media communications. While videos and pictures are embeddable, they seem to be de-emphasized compared to Facebook.
This “cleaner,” content-centric approach highlights the other difference – Google+ pages feed directly into Google’s search algorithm. While social media sites like Facebook are used by SEOs all the time for link-building, there is nothing specific which incorporates them directly into search to the degree that Google has done with Google+.
There is a bit of a vetting process – Google has banned unauthorized business pages on Google+ – but the authorization process seems to get more lax every day, and may soon disappear. At this point, small businesses should have no problems getting an authorized Google+ business page, so long as the profile which “owns” the brand page has some degree of use.