Google has now launched Pages for Google Plus. It is similar to Facebook fan pages where companies, celebrities and other “brands” can interact with their customers and followers by engaging in discussions.
But Google brings the power of open Web search by adding Google+ Pages to Google search results.
One can find any company's Twitter or Facebook page by searching on Google and find those pages at the top of the results.
Google has a shortcut called Direct Connect wherein typing a “+” in front of the company name gives the Google+ Page of the company. Moreover, just by typing “+A” into the search box can get a listing of Google+ Pages for Amazon, AT&T, Angry Birds and ABC News.
In these terms, a Google+ Page becomes a must-have for any company looking to establish a presence on the Internet, just as a Web site itself was the must-have a decade ago and Twitter and Facebooks accounts have been in recent years. Google has always been open, a place that anyone could visit to conduct a search without having to first log-in.
It’s definitely a one-up on Facebook and Twitter - but also must have Microsoft thinking again about the connection between social and search and how Bing, its own search offering, suddenly feels like it’s missing an important piece of the puzzle.
This is the face of the new interactive Internet, a one-up over the traditional Web site. These Google+ pages are powered by search, share and followers. This is a dynamic environment where companies host live video “hangout” sessions and engage in discussions with their followers. Google owns YouTube and, aside from the embedding videos into Google+ posts, you can imagine that Google+ Pages and YouTube channels might soon become chummier.