The battle started when Google launched Google+ and now it’s going to get even more heated with the introduction of brand pages just like the ones that Facebook allows businesses to manage. There’s not an official name for it at this time, but it’s coming in a month or two.
I love how Google does business. Most companies out there would spend countless amounts of cash and resources to try and bring people toward their product or service, but not Google. They simply create something and just leave it alone. The statement, “If you build it, they will come.” is more than true for Google and in the case of branded pages, Google is actually telling businesses NOT to create Google+ profiles at this time!
Google+ Product Manager Christian Oestlien says that Google is in the process of building a business-side of Google+ that will “creat[e] a unique experience for businesses that includes deep analytics and the ability to connect to products like AdWords.”
First of all the problem with Facebook’s brand pages is a matter of advertising. Companies want to know whether their advertising dollars are being spent well and Facebook simply doesn’t have the capacity to track post-click engagement of non-Facebook ads driving to Facebook. Google+ will attempt to solve this problem through the inherent connections between all of Google’s services like AdWords and actual searches. Here are three other reasons why Google+ brand pages are likely to beat Facebook’s.
- Better search opportunities – Advertisers paying for sponsored search results on Google’s search results have to pay for these clicks to go through to the Facebook.com domain which is pretty generic when compared to their business. Facebook.com generates a lower click-through ratio (CTR) because people won’t automatically associate Facebook.com with any particular business.
With Google+ already showing in search results, it’s likely that businesses setup with Google+ pages will be in better positions in the general search due to the relation between content and search query.
- Customization – If you look at a current Google+ page, you’ll notice right off the bat how customizable it could be based on ad placements and such. If an advertiser could customize their ads to better brand themselves. This would be similar to how an advertiser can customize an entire YouTube experience or what MySpace has been allowing users to do for some time now.
Facebook pages still look like profiles and while this creates consistency, it doesn’t do much for user interaction and participation.
- Analytics – Google already has a major head start here with Google Analytics and they will no doubt integrate this service with Google+ to make it much easier (and possible) to track detailed information about a company’s fans among other things.
These tools will allows companies to make better content decisions much like they already do with their main websites.
My two cents
I have a Facebook page for my photography business and while it’s functional in terms of engaging interested Facebook users with everything I offer, it still feels like just another Facebook profile. I spend enough time just managing one and now I have two. I’m not saying Google+ will be much different, but what I like (so far) is the thought of how integrated it will be with the functions of Google itself.
Since I already spend time getting Google to play well with my websites and whatnot, it just makes sense to keep these processes going in a seamless transition. Of course, only time will tell if all of this will be truly seamless, but so far, everything sounds appealing.