Google announced today that it is finally rolling out Google+ Pages for businesses, brands and products. That’s worldwide.
It’s not quite yet available for everyone, but will be “soon” according to Google. Here’s the URL where you can go to create one when: https://plus.google.com/pages/create.
“For you and me, this means 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,” says Google SVP of Engineering Vic Gundotra. “Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most.”
“For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you,” he adds. “Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you'll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.”
There are a number of Pages that are already available for viewing For example, here’s one for the Dallas Cowboys.
Of course there’s a search benefit to having a page. Users who find your page in search results, will be able to add it to their circles right from the search results page.
Google also announced “Google+ Direct, which lets you automatically add Google+ pages to your circles from Google Search by adding “+” in front of the page you’re searching for. That explains why they got rid of the “+” operator.
“Maybe you're watching a movie trailer, or you just heard that your favorite band is coming to town,” says Gundotra. “In both cases you want to connect with them right now, and Direct Connect makes it easy—even automatic. Just go to Google and search for [+], followed by the page you're interested in (like +Angry Birds). We'll take you to their Google+ page, and if you want, we’ll add them to your circles.”
Google says that while Direct Connect only works with select pages right now, many more are coming.