Battle with Facebook heats up with Google+ Business Pages launch

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Another week, another Google business application launch. I talked about the unveiling of Google Analytics Real-Time and what it means for tracking business website performance in October and this week, the company has announced the introduction of Google+ Business Pages.

This move comes as no surprise (the only surprise perhaps being that it hadn’t happened sooner) as Google continues in its attempt to create a social network on the scale of Facebook. The extension of Google+ Pages to include business pages sees the search engine giant expand its battle with its rival.

And why wouldn’t Google want to replicate the success of Facebook business pages, which have become an integral part of online marketing strategies across the business sector spectrum and a major revenue stream for Mr Zuckerberg. According to a recent webinar, one Facebook fan generates an additional 20 visits to a business website over a year, with advertisers expected to spend an estimated US$1.3 billion on Facebook in 2011.

Just like Facebook business pages, there is a local business page option on Google+ Business Pages, which is the product that most SMEs are likely to take up. This local business page option allows business to input location-based data, although at present, there is no link up between Google+ Pages and Google Places. Google+ Business Pages also offers heightened search
engine visibility via its Direct Connect in Google Search.

All in all, despite the fact that Google+ Business Pages seems a work in progress for Google, it’s a wise (if perhaps overdue) move. Whether this service and Google+ will succeed on the scale of Facebook remains to be seen, with opinion very much split, but what is clearer is the fact that it underlines the importance of social media optimisation for business websites.

Social media accounts for almost a quarter of all internet use in the UK, with nearly half of this time spent on Facebook, which has over 26 million users in this country (equal to over three times the population of Greater London). That’s a lot of potential customers.

To find out more about Chichester Design’s web design and development services, including social media optimisation, contact Michelle on +44 (0) 1243 787542 or [email protected].

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