Google’s newest widget, Google+ Badges for brand pages, lets brands use Google’s social network to promote their presence.
Similar in form and function to Facebook’s Like Box social plugin, Google+ Badges lets users either +1 a webpage, or add that webpage to their Google+ circles. While it doesn’t have Facebook’s ability to show your friends’ faces first, the widget does display the faces of other users who have +1ed the webpage.
Businesses now have the ability to create a strong presence on Google’s growing social network thanks to the launch of Google+ Badges that came alongside the development of Google+ Brand Pages.
Another feature of Google+ Badges is that it contains a snippet of code connecting your website to your Google+ page. In an e-mail to developers, the company stated, “In addition to helping us better index your Google+ page, this snippet will help you show more personal recommendations around the web by linking your +1’s on sites, your Google+ page, search and display ads.”
Additionally, Google has revealed that the badge must be included for the Google Direct Connect feature, which makes it possible for users to find a Google+ page from a Google Search. By typing in “+”then the name of a brand in Direct Connect, the search results lead users straight to the company’s Google+ brand page.
Given the success of its Facebook counterpart, this widget is certainly a necessary component for Google+. Even though it doesn’t have the benefits Facebook offers with “Open Graph,” the Google+ Badge definitely gets the job done. Google still must work to convince both users and brands that it is a social network ideal to do business through, but this Google+ widget will be of great importance in building the relevance of Google+!