Nearly a year after launching Google+ pages for brands and
businesses, the search giant continues to roll out changes to the way these
Two of the changes announced recently fulfill a
long-standing request from brands—custom URLs—and a prediction we and others
have made previously—merging of Google+ pages for local businesses with their
Google Places listings.
Here’s what you need to know about these 2 changes to
Google+ pages for your business.
Google+ Page Custom
Currently, all Google+ pages (and profiles) have lengthy,
impossible-to-remember URLs, such as this: https://plus.google.com/b/100984478133254575364/100984478133254575364/posts.
(That’s the CDG Interactive Google+ page—circle us, won’t you?)
But Google has announced--in a
post on its Plus page, appropriately—that it is beginning to roll out the
ability for brand pages to select custom URLs, similar to the functionality
currently available for Facebook pages.
However, in order to have access to this functionality when
it’s made available to everyone, your Google+ page must first be verified.
There are two ways to do this.
First, you can request
verification for a Google+ page via this form.
One major criteria to take note of: When you use this
process, Google requires a “substantial” number of followers (i.e. people who
have circled your page), although it does not define what that number is. Even
if you meet all of the other criteria for a verified page, the verification
request will be denied if your follower count is too low.
Alternately, if your page was created in the category of
Local Business, you will see an Unverified marker at the top of your page. When
you hover over that, you should see a Verify Now button. Click that to begin
the verification process. (Full
instructions for verifying a Local Business Google+ Page.)
(Not sure if your Google+ page is a Local page? Go to your
page and click on the About tab. Local pages have addresses at the top of the
information and a small Google Map of the location on the right side of the
Google+ Page and
This brings us to the second change, the merging of Google+
Pages for local business (which Google calls Google+ Local) with their Google
Maps Place listings, which began back in May.
According to Google, when the verification process described
above is completed, “Existing listing information on Google Maps will now be merged with your
new Google+ Local listing.”
Even if you don’t go
through the verification process, if you have a Google Place, it will be
converted to a Google+ Local page
automatically at some point this year.
Now what if you
already have a Google+ Business Page but it isn’t a Google+ Local Page? (How’s
that for confusing?) As of right now, there’s no way to join a non-Local page
and Place together, but we expect this may change in the future as Google
clearly wants to eliminate Places altogether.
Also unclear at the
moment is what happens when a business has both a non-local Google+ Business
Page and a Google+ Place. The Place listing will get converted to a Google+
Local page, but will that leave you with two Google+ Pages for your business,
one local and one not?
Since this applies to
us, we’ll be keeping an eye out for additional information on this particular
Help With Google+
Pages for Businesses
If you have any problems during the verification process or
other functionality with Google+, try asking questions on the Google and Your
Business product forum; they’re often answered by Google employees or other
highly knowledgeable users.
Our social media for small business site, PowerUp Social,
also has several articles
on using Google+ to promote your business.
Update April 10, 2013: Google is rolling out a completely updated dashboard for Places that better integrates management of merged Google+ Local pages. The following articles provide additional detail:
For custom consulting on creating and using a Google+ Page
or any other social media platform, Contact Us to find out how we can help you