Google+ brand pages face criticism

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Shopow boss claims function will boost biz giants while dwarfing SMEs.

Google+, the newest contender in the social networking arena, has launched a new facility allowing brands to create pages.

The pages will allow businesses to interact with consumers, and in turn the facility will allow consumers to keep track of their favoured brands just as they do their friends through social networking sites like Facebook.

Despite the initial advantages, the Google+ brand pages have faced criticism with some doubters claiming that there is no new functionality that brands can take advantage of and that, among other difficulties, the pages are ultimately set up too similarly to personal pages.

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Kevin Flood, chief executive of social shopping website Shopow, said: “This new service will enhance the strong brands that people trust. It will be a totally different story for smaller brands competing for exposure with retail juggernaughts. The issue being, that SEO optimisation is carried out in such as way as to ensure that those with huge numbers of Google+ friends will always rank highly in standard Google searches.”

Flood goes on to say that Google+ and Google page rankings will be revolutionised in such as way as to ensure that heavyweight companies or commentators are further pushed to the pinnacle of search engine rankings. It is a resulting concern, therefore, that cyber squatters could unethically take over various large brand pages and sell them on to the related company as Google+ becomes more important to online searches.

Flood added: “One worry is that some questionable companies could move up the Google rankings just because they have more followers, therefore creating a popularity contest based entirely on the number of supporters as opposed to the merits of the brand or the quality of their relationship with their consumers. It’s important to note that brand pages are meant to create and solidify brand relationships, when in reality they are actually missing some basic, yet vital functions which would allow genuine relationships to be built.”

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