Can Google+ rival Facebook appeal for businesses?

Google has been wandering around in the foothills of social media for years now but its latest effort, Google+, seems to be gaining some traction with 40m users.

Facebook has 800m so Google still has a way to go but the online advertising behemoth has been surprised by the eagerness of companies to put their own pages on Google+ and has announced its first list of lucky applicants.

The first two big brands are Pepsi and Toyota, there are a number of TV shows including ABC’s Good Morning America, fashion brands Burberry, H&M and Macy’s, New York bike shop Zen, Save the Children and Disney’s Muppets:

At the same time Google has announced some changes to its organic search engine algorithm which, according to US SEO expert Covario, will place a greater emphasis on breaking news (should be good for us then) and ‘freshness,’ plus provide more connections with relevant social media. Regarding the latter it will be interesting to see how Google+ rates against Facebook and other social media sites.

Some time ago WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell famously described Google as a ‘frenemy’ to companies like his. A burgeoning Google+ with a strong appeal to businesses is probably not good news for marcoms groups wishing to sell their own online optimisation services to clients.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.