Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger
Google+ has added business listings.Back when the service launched, some folks set up profiles using business names. Google struck these profiles down, and promised that a specialised version for businesses would show up later this fall.
The listings, called Google+ Pages aren’t anything particularly special — they look exactly like the regular Google+ home pages, but devoted to a business instead of a person.
But they are going to be tied back to Google’s search engine, which could make them a must for businesses.
For regular searches, the brand Pages will show up just like any other page, and won’t be weighted more heavily just because they’re on Google+. (If they were weighted more heavily, competitors would probably scream to antitrust regulators.)
But if users search with “+” and then the business name, they’ll be taken directly to the Google+ Page for that business — NOT to Google search results.
From there, users can add that page to their Circles, so they’ll be able to receive updates from the brand right on Google+.
The feature is called Direct Connect, and it’s an incredibly compelling prospect for brands, who will be able to funnel the hundreds of millions of users who search on Google directly to the information they want them to see — with no third-party sites or other results getting in the way. All they have to do is get people used to entering “+” before a brand name.
And it’s free.
At first, it won’t work for every business page — Google will use its magic algorithms to figure out when to turn it on. organisations can find out more here.
Here’s a simple video showing how Direct Connect will work: