Google production manager Christian Oestlien announced last Wednesday that Google+ business profiles would be launched earlier than expected.
The move signifies wise timing on Google’s part, perhaps taking advantage of the considerable buzz around the potential commercial impact of Google+ profiles on business search rankings.
Even if Google+ simply becomes the social network for Techie nerds and SEO conscious businesses, Google must have a trick or two up their sleeve to compete with Facebook’s current domination of the social media advertising market.
Businesses wishing to take part in the first open trials of Google+ business profiles have been invited to apply for inclusion in the Google+ test phase, applications closed at 6pm on the 15th July.
Once businesses have been selected to create a ‘diverse set of business partners’, Google will publicise their progress in the testing of Google+ profiles for business.
Google+ not ready for business profiles
Oestlein stated earlier in July that businesses should stay off Google+ until the official release, and that the company would be actively removing business profiles as the current Google+ personal profile is not suited to businesses. Many companies seem determined to have a go anyway; even influential SEO site Mashable are apparently ‘jumping the gun’ and setting up a profile that get deleted.
It is easy to see why the site is not ready for business profiles; questions like ‘which sex are you’ probably shouldn’t apply to companies like the Microsoft Corporation, who I’m sure will be getting a Google+ business profile ASAP in the hope of improving their search engine optimisation; not to mention their street cred.
In the meantime, Oestlein has signalled to all those too-keen business users who are chomping at the bit to stay engaged with Google+ personal accounts, and to give Google our useful feedback.
Google+ showing impressive early user numbers
Although Facebook’s reported total is an apparently unassailable 750 million users, Mark Zuckerburg’s site doesn’t allow users to actually delete their profiles. This means that anyone who ever created a profile and doesn’t use it – and anyone who ever joined and ‘closed down’ their profile – are still included in Facebook’s public figures.
Despite Google+ not yet being open to all comers and new users needing an invite to sign up, the current beta phase has already attracted an estimated 20 million users.
Guest Post by Gerry Bern writing in Brighton UK, July 15 2011.