From the monthly archives:

November 2011

Google+ Business Spew

by Mike McGrath on November 10, 2011

The impact of brand pages has degraded my user experience of Google+. While brands are clamoring for engagement, consumers are not as keen. Markters had better think their engagement strategy through before spewing their crap in my stream.

I opened Google+ today to find the WWE had multiple posts about their form of violent entertainment. I’m not a fan. BLOCK. Then Pepsi started popping up, I prefer Coke but I’d BLOCK them both. When Fox News and Anderson Cooper showed up they were promptly BLOCKED. Same with the X Games and Phoenix Suns. BLOCKED them both.Can someone call Google and tell them about opt-in? Once upon a time, there was a gentleman’s agreement that marketers wouldn’t conduct opt-out campaigns. The whole idea of social marketing was nurturing communities of brand fans that opted in to a stream of blather.Then brands started leveraging social graphs. Your friend that loved the blather came to share it with you. If you and you’re friend have similar tastes, no harm no foul. But when unsolicited junk from brands I don’t like pollute my stream it makes me want to say enough is enough! It’s bad enough that there’s commercial noise in my signal but now I have the extra work of clicking BLOCK repeatedly. No thanks, GOOG.

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I made a couple of business pages today on Google+. The process is simple, maybe a little too simple. The resulting page fell short in a few ways. But I’m not here to badmouth a new, new thing. Businesses will love this because the pages will be indexed by the Google crawlers and show up in Google search results. Add sensitivity to location and context to the search result and this could knock any other local-social SMB marketing solution right out of the box.

Let me temper that statement with a few things that are missing:

1. The Manage Pages stuff doesn’t let me add admins. Did I miss this or isn’t this possible?

2. No vanity URL. I was expecting a land rush for URLs today but it’s not in the cards. At least for now.

3. No canvas or frame that I can embed things in. Come on, folks.

It’s going to be page rank and search results that determine how fast businesses adopt Google+ business pages. If they address the shortcomings and deliver more visible search results for a business, it’s a no brainer.

And don’t forget Hangouts. A nice addition to SMB marketing venues but it will have to prove its value.

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