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Why Brands Will Love Google+

One of the complaints users of Google+ have had (and notably, something Tech Crunch is whingeing about) is the lack of "brand pages". Right now, only actual people are supposed to post to Google+. Google has said that brand pages are coming soon.

Over the past two years, brands have spent immense amounts of money to build followers for the Facebook fan pages. One of the dirty little secrets of this is that while it's great to be able to follow the customers that do choose to "like" your web page, having a lot of Facebook followers doesn't drive that much traffic back to your site, and it really doesn't drive much new traffic. 

So along comes Google+ and the +1 button. Right now, folks aren't paying a lot of attention to the +1 badge. But Google's already started incorporating the data from it into their search results, both at the social ("your friend +1'ed this") and global ("+1 by #### people") level. If they haven't figured it out already, brands will soon realize that if they get their loyal customers to +1 them on Google+, it will act as endorsements when those customers friends come across the brand in a Google search result page.

There's any number of other great things about Google plus (Circles) and a few not so great things (it's kind of boring right now.) But I think that brand pages, +1 and Google search are the "killer feature" that will carry Google+ from a remarkable launch to a true Facebook rival.


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While Google+ is doing exceptionally well right out of the gate, I don't think they're going to threaten Facebook because so many peoples' photos, phone numbers, messages, friends, etc are on there right now and Google+ is still limited to a more early adopter crowd. I don't foresee peoples' parents and grandparents flocking to Google+ anytime soon. I think that Facebook has enough great developers on their team that they should be working on some kind of project to tackle better search features that use all of the data at their disposal better than their current relationship with Bing allows them to. The brands will obviously check out Google+ and develop their presences there, but they will go where the people are and that's Facebook most definitely. There are entire ecosystems of companies being built around Facebook's features, even to the point where buying Facebook fans exists and nothing that Google does can possibly inspire that kind of activity anytime soon. If Google is a threat to Facebook, I see it as being years away and Facebook would have to make a number of major missteps to cause that to happen. In the short to medium term, I think that Google+ is more of a threat to Reddit and other places where technical minded people like to shoot the breeze and have fun.

Tom Karlo

While it's true that there's companies around Facebook, they're still only a small fraction of the industry that's existed for nearly a decade around Google. SEO at this point basically is entirely about Google rank, and so is all Search Engine Marketing... I'd have to think the amount being spent on those two is 10-100x whatever is being spent on Facebook branding.

Folks act as if Facebook's been around forever when it basically popped up in 2-3 years, starting from a time when MySpace and Friendster "owned" the social network and Flickr "owned" photos... users are very fickle. In just two weeks, I already have about 25% of my friends on G+ and I'm seeing as much posting there as on FB; to get to that number on FB took years.

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