SOCIAL NETWORKING UPSTART Google has added Google+ Pages to let companies easily set up profiles for their brands.
The Google+ social network is still in its infancy but it is borrowing from Facebook's bag of tricks and offering everyone from small businesses to brand owners the chance to set up profiles. Google+ Pages can be added to users' circles, which Google claims "can create lasting bonds with the pages".
Recently Google removed the '+' syntax from its search engine algorithm with some wondering why. Now the reason is clear, those who search with '+' in front of a term will be shown a list of Google+ Pages. At present the list of Google+ Pages available through the '+' search syntax is small but the company said more are coming.
Regardless of what Google says about its users creating lasting bonds, the fact is that Google+ Pages are really there for companies to advertise their wares and promote their brands. This was confirmed by Vic Gundotra, SVP of Engineering at Google when he said, "Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you."
Gundotra continued by saying in effect that a Google+ Page will be a flame to attract customer moths. Gundotra said, "Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you'll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello."
Gundotra pretty much repeated the sales spiel later on, and it goes to show just how hard Google and Facebook are trying to convince big business that social networks can deliver value. Given that Google+ Pages are there to help businesses, you might want consider the implications before you +1 a Google+ Page and add it to your circles.
Despite this, we couldn't miss an opportunity to create a lasting bond with our valued readers, so The INQUIRER has set up a Google+ Page. Feel free to add us to your circles. After all, it might become the easiest way for you to hurl abuse at our writers. µ