Google Plus Business Pages - Early Observations for SEO
by Jo Shaer, on November 24, 2011
Further to yesterday's post about Setting Up Google Plus Business Pages, lost in all the hype around last week’s announcement of the launch was the following paragraph from Google’s blog:
“People search on Google billions of times a day, and very often, they’re looking for businesses and brands. Today’s launch of Google+ Pages can help people transform their queries into meaningful connections, so we’re rolling out two ways to add pages to circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is a new feature called Direct Connect.”
If you've got a Places Page, start by linking them up - Click on Create page and type in your phone number so Google can collect your details and set you up. Although the lovely Mike Blumenthal tells me that they actually take the info from the index not from the Places Page. But, having said that, there were signs this week of testing going on which linked Google Places pages to Google+ accounts.
Direct Connect means that, in future, searchers will be able to put + in front of your company name in the search bar to be sent directly to your Google Plus Business Page and is a code that you add to the header of your website but is only available to a few companies currently. Hubspot advise that Google are using an algorithm to decide which companies should be deemed worthy of inclusion and that we should make sure to promote our Google Plus Business Pages on our websites, blogs and other platforms to try to influence the Direct Connect algo.
In the meantime, the SEO implications are there in that snippet for all to see and rumour has it that Google are no longer indexing as many Facebook pages as they once were, with real time tweets having disappeared altogether. Google Plus is set to replace both platforms on the Google SERPs to ensure that they get not only the most relevant results, but also the most current. So there will be Google Plus Business Pages but Google Plus posts will also be indexed to replace the real time feed that used to come from Twitter.
Having said that, I am still holding back from charging my clients to create Google Plus Business Page accounts. The demise of Google Buzz means that we should adopt a wait and see approach for a little while longer to ensure that Google Plus Business Pages are going to be sticking around. Certainly, the vibe is that both Pages and Posts will be indexed so it is something that is going to need careful monitoring but, unless clients insist, I don't feel comfortable ethically advising them to spend money on setting up a business page until I am sure that it is going to be effective.
Things To Know About Google Plus Business Pages
You should remember that you cannot add people to the circles of your business page unless they have added you to their circle first.
As with Facebook, pages can be made for a variety of entities but profiles can only be made for people.
If you have more than one product, you can have more than one page and you can manage these by changing between your personal profile and Google Plus business pages through a drop down menu on the home page.
Google Plus Business Pages have the +1 button but they cannot +1 other pages or content on the web.
Google Plus Local Business Pages have special fields so that you can find out the physical address of the business.
Unlike Facebook, there is no way of filtering the language that may be used by people who post or comment on your wall.
The most positive aspect of the new platform is the ability to have video conversations in the hangout with multiple users which could lead to better communication with potential clients as businesses can run Q&As or customer service clinics.
Also, as MyCustomer.com pointed out allowing the functionality of Google docs, analytics and checkout to be used on the Business Pages means that Google Plus could well become the social media platform of choice for businesses, rather than Facebook, because they can use it as their trading site.
Facebook Pages vs Google Plus Business Pages Privacy and Security
Infographic by Veracode Application Security