Google+ rolls out brand pages

Google has finally put the finishing touches on pages for brands in its social network, making the service much more valuable for advertisers.

The search giant took down pages put up by businesses (including The Washington Post) in the early days of the project because the social network did not yet have policies in place for them. Now Google+ Pages are up and running, five months after the social network went live.

Google+ is a natural fit for business owners, who will be able to “hang out” with their customers and hold live events. Another benefit to having a page on Google+: It just so happens that it not only hooks your Google+ profile into the world’s most popular search engine but Google has also come up with a way to directly connect people to business pages through search. Typing, for example, “+Google” will take a user directly to the company’s profile page.

In a company blog post, Google social lead Vic Gundrota wrote that the changes mean that “we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour,” and form stronger bonds between businesses and their customers.

Over at Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan noted that those who want to create pages may have to wait until the company rolls the feature out completely. Once at the registration page, businesses will be asked whether they want to make a page for a local business, product or brand, company or organization, arts or entertainment site, or “other.”

According to Sullivan, local businesses have a few more options, such as the chance to enter their phone numbers on the page. He did say, however, that Google+ pages and Place pages have to be managed separately.

Related stories:

Google Plus relaxing real name policy

Google Plus, now for everyone

Bill Gates beats Mark Zuckerberg in Forbes most powerful list

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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