Google sites enjoyed 184.5 million unique visitors in September.
Facebook came in fourth with 163 million visitors.
THOUGHT: As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Google has rolled out their business pages service to compete with Facebook fan pages and with Twitter.
If you’re asking yourself if you really need to have a Google+ Page, all you need to know is that for all the love that Facebook gets, search is still a primary online activity. Yes, Google+ is a social network, but one of the major reasons Google decided to build its own network is because of what it could learn about content through it and, ultimately, how it can offer the most precise search results so they can maintain the cash cow that is search engine advertising.
Google will give greater visibility in search results to content shared through Google+ Pages.
Yes, Facebook has tons of users who spend a lot of time there but despite the many brands that have a presence there, users’ primary motivation at Facebook is to interact with people they know, not brands.
With Google+ Pages, you’ll get the benefits of a social media brand page plus the benefits of search. Since content shared through Google+ Pages will be more likely to show up in search results, that content is satisfying the need expressed in the search query. In other words, because of the motivation of the searcher, content shared through Google+ Pages that are found for search is content that has been explicitly requested rather than happened upon in a friend’s feed or noticed through advertising.
Having found content through search, Google+ Pages then make it very easy to create a lasting relationship by being added to a Circle.
Whereas in Facebook, you see many brands trying to gain fans through giveaways only to find they unfan the brand once the promotion is over, Google+ Pages offers a much more natural dynamic that’s beneficial for both sides.
Throw in the analytics on top of that–Google Webmaster Tools, Google+ analytics, and Google Analytics for websites–and you have the potential of understanding the complete process from search, discovery, connection, content interaction, and finally, conversion at your website. That’s some powerful insight.
Just launched, Google+ Pages are understandably a work in progress. The aforementioned Google+ Analytics, for example, do not exist. Yet. You cannot have multiple administrators (so be sure to create your page using a company-controlled Gmail account) and there are no vanity URLs but I imagine Google will be working to improve the product just as they have worked to improve Google+ for individuals.
The cost of entry is mighty small, so I’d recommend you get started to try and figure out how it might work for your business.
Thank you for Walt Whitman.
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