Since it's introduction, Google+ has been the strangest of beasts. The social media section of Google was launched into beta with invites and this was taken up in quantity yet once the Google+ pages developed many corporate identities were removed either by Google or by the companies themselves "under duress". Some of the features will shout out to businesses, but these are similar to options in the paid for "Google Apps" service that companies and individuals can pay for. 

In October 2011 it was announced that there were more than 40 million users[1514]  which is something that Facebook could have only dreamed of after a few months. Google+ has since launched the ability for small business and corporates to develop a page on the social network but this is where the problems start. 

The new Google+ Business pages were launched on 07 November 2011 and thanks to the core integration that Google offer; can directly connect to your GMail, calendar and GoogleDocs. The concern is though that companies have already missed the boat if they are not already on board; the first BIG problem is that there is no verification process for those that are registering pages. For those that are starting to market on Twitter there is a process to get "verified" as an identity develops, especially if that branding is an individual person; yet Google+ Pages are certainly first come, first serve, which leads us onto another problem.

The new Google+ Business pages are locked to an individual user account. From a personal perspective I have already registered the Google+ Page that relates to work that I do under my brand. If I was to hand the work and company goodwill onto another person it would be very difficult to do so. There is no ability to transfer the account or add more administrators regardless of whether they are part of your company or even whether they have a Google+ account. This causes some issue if a company is outsourcing the development of the Google+ account among others as this ties a company to an outsource company in the long run.

One of the final core problems is that Google+ Business pages are so difficult to remember. When you consider a Facebook account, you can choose a reasonable vanity address within the Facebook domain. When we take an example such as Vodafone UK, their Facebook account is easy to find at and this is a logical vanity address for users to remember. If you do the same with, the result at the moment is a "Sorry, We are 404-ing you" page; instead each Google+ Business Page is similar to user pages in that they are a string of numbers after the Google+ top-level domain of

There are some benefits to the Google+ Business pages though. One organisation that I want to highlight is tech company Mashable. Such a journalistic organisation will find that their individual approach is beneficial as a Google+ group page can promote circles for users to add all, some or none of the members of that circle to their own feeds. This does not mean that the circles can all post to a companies page though - still only the one administrator can do that; but for the users that follow a companies entire circle, the degradation of the amount of content is somewhat reduced.

We also see a new way of searching in Google with the creation of Direct Connect. Brands can to an extend verify themselves by adding a Google+ badge to their own websites, but one of the big benefits is that when a user searches for "+brand" in Google then users will be taken directly to the relevant Google+ Business page. This is obviously something that other social networks are not able to undertake as they have little influence on a search engine where Google+ .... well.... has.

Google claim that they are working on their Google+ Business pages though; with a promise that multi-admin brand pages are in the pipeline. this is going to be joined by enhancements in the AdWords system and is planned as coming to Google+ in the first quarter of 2012[1564]

As for now though..... just make sure a single person in your company is responsible for everything Google+ and you will be fine; otherwise, it might be time to choose a different social network!