Facebook’s last huge feature advantage over Google Plus is now history, as the search engine giant Monday debuted its equivalent of brand pages, but it will still take the challenger time to catch up to the incumbent.
Pages for Google Plus offer businesses many of the same features as Facebook brand pages, albeit with different terminology:
- Google Plus has the +1 button, while Facebook has the like button;
- Google Plus has Hangouts, while Facebook has video chat and group chat with Skype; and
- Google Plus has Circles, while Facebook has smart friend lists.
Pages for Google Plus also boast some advantages when it comes to search-engine optimization, which isn’t much of a surprise, considering the parent company.
Product Management Director Dennis Troper said in a blog post that Google will add up all +1 button clicks — from brands’ pages for Google Plus, websites, and search results — and the single total will be used to determine relevancy in Google search results.
Troper also announced the rollout of Google Plus Direct Connect, an experimental feature that will allow Google users who add a + after the name of the company they’re searching for to be sent directly to the business’ page for Google Plus, as long as Google Plus Direct Connect has been activated.
According to Search Engine Land, Pages for Google Plus can be created in five categories:
- Local Business or Place;
- Product or Brand;
- Company, Institution, or Organization;
- Arts, Entertainment, or Sports; and
And here’s a list of brands that were allowed to create pages for Google Plus before the official rollout Monday:
- All American Rejects
- Anderson Cooper 360
- Angry Birds
- Barcelona Football Club
- Dallas Cowboys
- Fox News
- Good Morning America
- The Muppets
- Phoenix Suns
- Save the Children
- X Games
- Zen Bikes
According to the Google post, the aforementioned pages were joined by:
- ABC News
- Assassins Creed
- DC Comics
- NBC News
- The New York Times
- Shady Records
While pages for Google Plus will clearly enjoy search benefits over brand pages for Facebook, there are still some check marks on the side of the latter:
- Facebook has more than 800 million users, while Google Plus currently tallies more than 21 million profiles.
- Facebook brand pages are already established, although Google Plus gains a slight advantage in being able to learn from mistakes that were made in the past.
- While launching a basic page for Google Plus seems fairly easy and straightforward, companies that want to add more features and functionality have scores of already existing third-party companies with expertise in Facebook brand pages, while there’s no such selection for Google Plus pages yet.
Readers: Do you think the new pages feature will help Google Plus recapture people’s attention?