Google Plus Publishes Guide for Politicians and Candidates

By Kenna McHugh 

Google unobtrusively posted a Google Plus guide for politicians and candidates this week. The guide offers step-by-step instructions for designing a Google + Page and connecting with voters and constituents.

As Google explains in the free guide, “By creating a Google+ Page for your public office or campaign, you and your staff can promote an issue, platform or cause across the web.”

Google even offers lists of politicians already using the page, highlighting U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Google Plus Profile Page of Mitt Romney. Google also included Plus Pages for French governing party Union for a Popular Movement and opposition Parti Socialiste.

Google obviously highlighted Political Profile Pages that the company approved of, which was demonstrated when the social network failed to mention Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich and the Obama 2012 campaign’s Google Plus Page.

The guide encourages politicians to design a profile page independent of their personal profile page. Google clariflies, “Since you need to establish a personal profile on Google+ when creating a Google+ Page, we recommend that you use and update only your Google+ Page, not your personal profile, to avoid fragmenting your audience when they search for you on Google+. If you have a staff managing your account, another way to do this is by having a staff member use their name to set up the profile page of the account.”

Another important aspect to for politicians is the issue of account verification. Google is offering the same service it started offering celebrities in August — a small gray check mark icon that appears next to the celebrities name on their Profile Page.

With 40 million accounts since the June launch, Google is working overtime to catch up to Facebook’s 800 million and Twitter’s 200 million by tapping everyone from politicians to businesses to individual users, including special services and guidelines for all of the distinct subgroups.