For now, Google is discouraging businesses from creating Google+ profiles, instead promising a business experience to launch later this year which will “far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses”.
It’s anybody’s guess at this point what this might look like. Some have speculated on a style similar to Facebook business pages. Sean Percival posted a concept on his blog suggesting tight integration with Google Maps, Google Offers and more.
Improving Google Places
Personally I’d really love to see Google+ and Google Places join forces for one unified Google business experience, giving businesses greater control of what users see and an easier way for customers or patients to share their experiences.
Today, there’s very little sharing within Google Places. Google relies heavily on 3rd-party sites like vitals.com for reviews and business information, which is often wrong. Reviews on Google Places are often tied to a single physician instead of the facility and users rarely utilize Google’s built-in rating system for positive remarks.
Hospitals have already invested time and effort into building (and often correcting) Google Places accounts. Allowing businesses & users to interact via the Google+ and “+1” button could reduce Google’s reliance on 3rd-party sites and actually feed better data to Google on which hospitals or clinics are deserving of more attention, aka better search engine ranks.
Most importantly, I’d really hate to see one more Google business presence to claim and verify if it’s anything like Google Places verification.
Has your hospital created a Google+ profile? If so, we would love to hear about what you’re doing.
Join my circle on Google+