Google+ Pages: Can It Map The Real Web With The Social Web?

One of the biggest differentiators between Google+ pages and Facebook pages is that +<BrandName> takes you to the Google+ page for the corresponding brand. Why, you do not have to actually search for your favorite product, it pops up on the Google Instant suggestions even before you’ve finished typing. You are not even given the time to look at the search results, which may not contain the Facebook page among the first 10 results. (Angry Birds Facebook page appears on the second page of search results, at number 16, for instance).
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Google+ Direct Connect in Action

This also means that Google connects the web to pages, Facebook does pages to web, which is consistent with the companies’ core philosophies. Larry-Sergey brought all the websites at your disposal through search results on the web itself, and Mark has built a parallel web inside his website. Of course, both of these web-worlds interact with each other often.

The connect between webpages and Google+ pages is also evidently made easy by Google Badge, a way to link your website with your Google+ page. Once your website is linked, the +1 count on your actual website and Google+ page are synced. Direct Connect and Badges combined with a customizable +1 button and open APIs, Google+ can bring in much more traction to your website than the Facebook counterpart.

Like we earlier pointed out, Google+ is available for apps users too—an advantage Facebook does not have. With all the aforementioned features, Google+ pages can be a boon for Apps users.
As with everything Google, simplicity is what drives the creation of a Google+ page. Though Google asks for most the same kind of categories and subcategories to place your page in a la Facebook, the form looks much cleaner on Google+, with the categories neatly tucked away in a left pane and the subcategories drop down remaining at the same place, unlike Facebook where the six available categories are sprawled across the entire page, and still does not have an ‘Other’ category. Once you are done choosing a category and finding a suitable subcategory for your page, Facebook takes you through a three-step-old-school-wizard to add an image, invite friends, and suchlike. At Google+, you’d have pressed Create and your page is ready; you may edit those details later.

At the Facebook F8 conference 2011 earlier this quarter, Zuckerberg talked at length about removing friction from the entire Facebook experience, however, creating a page provides you all the friction you could imagine. Okay, Google+ was still an infant when F8 was held, and consequently pages were not paid attention to. Perhaps.

Google+ using the divide-and-rule policy in releasing features in installments rather than one complete product has been a major factor in sustaining its popularity and maintaining interests of users, critics, and industry pundits. You are about done marveling at a new Google+ feature and just before you get used to it, Google suddenly announces another feature that brings it back to the headlines, evokes curiosities among its users, and creates interests among non-adopters. Interesting Intelligent strategy (?).

Pages was the most-awaited and most-wondered-about, if you will, feature of Google+ since the search-master’s social product launch. Now, every product/business/organization is busy creating Google+ pages. Pages add another dimension to Google, another plus for Google Plus, can this be termed as Google++? Will it turn out an extra for the users?

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