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Extending Social: Google Plus

November 15, 2011 • Article by Jack Sladek

When Google Plus launched in June it generated a huge amount of interest with some seeing it as their saviour from Facebook and others asking why would I move? On a personal basis I saw it as an opportunity to branch out from Facebook and tie the loose ends up between my various Google accounts. Professionally I wondered what it could add for my client’s exposure and initially I struggled to find any value.

On the 7th November Google officially announced that brand pages were now open for business on Google + after a period of beta testing by Ford in the USA. The question was still what difference if any there was between Google+ Brand Pages and Facebook pages and how social media response could be measured or be of benefit to paid marketing efforts (though social media metrics have been nicely discussed by Avinash Kaushik).

Last week Google issued a blog that managed to tune a slightly fuzzy picture into a crisp high definition one by announcing “Social Extensions”. We have all used location, sitelink & product extensions in our ads and seen Google seller star ratings attached to those using Google Merchant Centre but these still lacked a human face. The +1 button was first launched recommendations could only be seen by friends and family using Google+ so this human face was shrouded in mystique.

“Social Extensions” will show all your ad, search result & brand page recommendation figures in an ad text ticker for all users to see, whether they use Google Plus or not. It will quickly show users which companies products and services to trust based on user recommendation numbers. The social & human face of internet search will finally be allowed out in to the sun.

So now what better reason could there be then to create a brand page, ask your friends and customers to +1 your business and turn social extensions on in your Adwords account? We’ve done it, have you?

Check out the Search Star brand page now and leave us a +1.