June 12, 2013
Google Plus Updates Dashboard For Business Clients
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
As the Google+ social network matures, the Internet search giant is helping by improving the interface for businesses maintaining their pages. The latest #GooglePlusUpdate is Google+ Dashboard, which was introduced earlier this week.Googler Pavni Diwanji used the platform itself to introduce the new Dashboard and its features. The new interface lets page managers tweak AdWords campaigns, business information and social media content including YouTube videos from one page.
"We want to make it easier to manage your online presence - all across Google - so today we're getting started with Google+ Dashboard," Diwanji said in her post.
Dashboard combines profile management onto one page for easy access. One essential feature is the ability to monitor Google+ notifications, share photos and videos and assign page managers (which helps keep the conversation going). There is also an ability for page managers to start a Hangout with followers. From the Dashboard managers can also update business info such as website, contact information and hours of business.
A quick dive into AdWords Express and Offers campaigns from the dashboard helps users react quickly to campaigns and conversations on the Google+ page. Dashboard also includes an analytics platform that includes top searches for the company, top locations requesting driving directions, and performance data for Google+ posts.
The analytics provide some new insight and information that's useful to local businesses, if not businesses in general.
"These stats are actually pretty interesting and not something Google has made available in an easy to use package before," reports Frederic Lardinois of TechCrunch. "They will allow business owners to see the top searches for their business and top locations requesting driving directions to their stores (so they can strategically place local ads, for example). It will also display a set of basic performance stats for their Google+ accounts."
More enhancements are slated for Google+ Dashboard. "We've got lots more useful tools to add from all across Google, so stay tuned for more updates!" Diwanji concludes.
The move encourages businesses to start and maintain Google+ profiles. It also drives home the message that Google+ and advertising on Google go hand in hand.
"This is just a continuation of Google's attempts to make life easier for businesses on the service. It is obviously hoping that, by having more businesses on using Google tools, it will help drive ad sales," VatorNews reporter Steven Loeb writes.
While Diwanji said that Dashboard helps profile managers maintain their pages and activities across Google (with more to come), some of these new features are carried over from changes recently made across the site. Last week Google added new image extensions for search ads, "which allow businesses to put pictures into ads that appear alongside search results," reportd Loeb. Google also added enhancements to business services, but started charging for Google Apps for Businesses in December.
"It's fascinating to see Google build all these tools itself. That's a big contrast to Facebook's approach, which has focused on opening APIs to let third-parties build presence management tools for businesses. Google gets tighter control of the experience, but can't provide customized set-ups for different types of businesses," the TechCrunch article said.