Last week Google+, Google’s social network updated their profile pages with larger cover photos, a redesigned “About” tab and created a new “Local reviews” tab. These added features were based on feedback from Google+ users who wanted more editing control, flashier displays and clearer social networking.
The new profile “cover photos” have a much larger display at 2,120px by 1,192px and adjust sizes depending on web browsers, zoom and monitor size. Now that the cover photos have gotten larger, the profile pictures have been reduced from 250x250px to 120x120px, which can be tough for branding purposes. Notice in the screenshot below that the MoreVisibility profile picture is much smaller and the text is not as noticeable.
Google’s justification for the change was as follows, “This way more images can be used as cover photos, and there’s more room for your selection to shine,” It appears Google+ updated their cover photos to almost mimic Facebook’s large background cover.
The ‘About’ section now organizes user info into category boxes created for easier user modifications. These boxes enable Google+ users to edit information from their ‘About’ tab such as education, work, links and places. The information being provided on the ‘About Tab’ is optional and like before, can be hidden or only shared between your selected circles.
Also, along with the cleaner look, Google has added a splash of color above each section, labeling the section’s people – blue, story – red, work – teal and education – yellow. Google is becoming more creative on how they use their logo’s colors and I am sure we will see much more of these colors in the future.
The newest addition to Google+ is the ‘Local review’ tab. The ‘Local review’ tab can be shared within your network of circles, assuming you would rather post your preferences, opinions & reviews on Google+ versus other popular rating sites.
Similar to photos and the +1 buttons, Google+ users now have the ability to highlight reviews for their favorite businesses and share experiences. This is optional and can be hidden within your settings.
Google has hope that with this new tab these recommendations will enhance its own social search results and increase the development of business pages. Chances are this “Local review” tab will most likely become a part of the search integration within the Google platform and this is one thing brands should be aware of. See below for the organic results that auto populated when I typed “Boca Raton, FL” in G+ “Local” search.
Google Plus has added updated their pages to not only benefit personal users, but also to increase the involvement of business pages. Local pages allow businesses to be found by their customers or prospects through better visibility in Google’s search rankings.
This social network is engaging and when pursued effectively, can create buzz for your business, drive traffic to your website and benefit your search results. If you haven’t created a Google Plus business page I would highly recommend starting one now.