Earlier this week, Google launched the possibility to create company and brand “pages” on Google Plus. Naturally, we were very curious and eager to test out the feature’s possibilities for Mynewsdesk, and be one of the first companies to register for a Google+ page.
This is what it looks like. Feel free to add us if you want to help us test out our page
To be perfectly frank, we’re not sure if we will continue using the Google+ page. It all depends on whether or not it helps us engage with our community. But, after snooping around and assessing the possibilities, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
No Link With Google Apps
At the moment, you cannot connect your company page to Google Apps. If your company, like Mynewsdesk, uses Google Apps for emailing, documents, and calendars, it would have been great to give Google+ administration rights to all members of the Google Apps company account – rather than have your company’s Google+ page tied to a private Google+ account.
Personal Profile and Only One Administrator
Currently, your company’s Google+ page is tied to the personal Google+ profile of whoever created the page. This means that if you create the page, you must have a Google+ account, and be the administrator of the page. The problem is that Google only allows one administrator per company page. In other words, if you created the page, be prepared to be the one that actively updates it. Unfortunately, this also means that if you want to add new contacts to the page, you have to use your own personal network on Google+.
Consequently, if you want someone else to edit the page, you’d have to share your personal login details. Not ideal.
“Circles” to Organize Your Contacts
In order to organize your contacts by subject matter, interest, or specific group, Google+ uses “circles”. This allows a company to communicate with various types of customers or stakeholders using different types of content or languages. This is definitely a step up from Facebook pages, where you can adapt updates per country or language, but not interests or subjects.
I can click and drag contacts to add them to a specific circle, or create a new one. There are four default circles: Following, Customers, VIPs, and Team Members. It’s essential that you name your circles properly, but that you take a minute to think about what circles you need. You can easily end up with too many circles, creating an administrative nightmare later on. You can only add people to your circles that have first added your company page to one of their own circles.
By posting an update to a specific circle, you’re targeting that message to a chosen group of people or brands – only people that have chosen to view your posts can see them.
“Sparks” to Follow Conversations
Using “sparks”, you can monitor what’s being said in Google+ about specific subjects and areas of interest. You can save “sparks” based on keywords you’ve chosen, and they’ll be available to you in the left-hand column of your feed. Every time you click on a “spark”, you will see the latest updates on that particular subject (based on a particular keyword).
Social Influence Affects SEO
Google+ affects SEO in several ways. For example, by using the +1 button (which is similar to the Like button on Facebook), you can recommend a page or an update to your network. Google will give a page with more +1s a higher ranking. Moreover, if a person is searching using your keywords and is logged into their Google account, your pages will rank higher if that person’s contacts have given your pages a +1.
Even links that you’ve added to your company’s page, whether in the profile or in a post, affect SEO. If you manage to provide your network with interesting content that compels people to comment, share or give +1s to, your page’s ranking will improve. A page with high social authority will simply be considered more important than others by Google.
There is a (slightly out-of-place looking) YouTube search box in the top right of Google+. If a user finds one of your YouTube videos, they can watch and +1 them directly in Google+.
I believe that the SEO aspect will the main catalyst for companies to test Google+ pages. I’m honestly not sure if how big a threat it will be to Facebook, but I can see that Google+ can be used effectively for professional networking, while Facebook continues to be the first choice for a personal networking platform. The fact that you cannot have more than one administrator, and that the accounts are tied to a personal profile, will most likely limit the amount of companies willing to test the new feature – but that will probably be amended soon.
Curious to find out more about Google+ pages? Have a look at the articles listed below: