Friday, 18 November 2011
So five months after it was promised, possibly the most anticipated social platform launch of the year, the great hyperbole that is Google+ pages finally arrived last week.
It met with the now expected polarised coverage from:
"Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter"
"Google+ Is Dead"
Frankly how one can make predictions this early on (we smell linkbait) is beyond us.
So the facts are that Pages provide organisations with the ability to broadcast and interact with their customers in much the same way as Facebook pages. As Robert Scoble points out though they currently appear to be more suited to small companies or companies with a small social presence rather than large corporations, as the management options for multiple logins are currently absent meaning companies with advanced social strategies touching many parts of an organisation will find the management tough at present.
These types of tools will arrive over time but for now the key benefit (which is why we can't understand the ‘Google+ is dead’ headlines) is the baked in search boosting tools, which is where Google+ really has an advantage over other social platforms.
Companies that are serious about natural search rankings have the opportunity to really consolidate through their presence on the platform and this is where we think the real growth will start. The attraction of improved natural search will inevitably attract companies to set up stall (61% of the top brands already have) and if they start to run promotions through the platform the users will follow, which means there will be a natural activation of what is currently a relatively inactive Google+ consumer base. Interestingly this is the Facebook growth model in reverse.
So after 5 months of wondering we now know what Google’s ambitions are and the next year is going to be a fascinating spectacle.