Google+ announced on 7th of November 2011 the immediate availability of Google+ Pages, a feature enabling businesses and organizations to create their own “space” on the Google+ network. The name of this feature has the potential to create some confusion among those that remember the now-defunct Google Page Creator, but for most people it won’t be an issue as they probably didn’t hear about it in the first place.
Since the initial launch of the service on 28th of June 2011, the ability of organizations to create their own space on the network has been a saga for corporations and social media professionals as they initially created company accounts only to be disabled by the Google Policy team (by stating that those accounts are forbidden in the initial phase of the service). Now anyone can create a page in the name of his organization, without restrictions.
In connection with this launch Google announced Direct Connect – a feature due to which brand names entered in search queries with the + sign as a prefix will return the Google+ Pages associated with the respective terms. This is currently working only in a limited number of instances but the company plans to make it more universal in the near future.
By enabling organizations to connect with their followers, Google+ addressed one of the service’s main missing features. Its continued success now largely depends on the array of benefits that both organizations and individual users will perceive once they’re connected via their favorite pages. For small business owners, this has the potential to become their first online presence by replacing the need for a website, especially if Google achieves seemingly integration of the feature with Google Maps, Google Sites and its other related services.