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I am trying to understand the relative value of one page type in Google + versus another.

This brand search (https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Barbara+Oliver+%26+Co+Jwwelery&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=Barbara+Oliver+%26+Co+Jewelry&rls=en&spell=1) was done using a European based proxy server and incognito mode on Chrome.

The Local Knowledge panel shows. If that is the case then IF a business has a G+ Page for local why would they also need a Brand or Company page for national or international marketing?

What would its tactical or strategic value of a brand or company page be in exposure, search results or marketing sense?

Why couldn't they just use one page even if a vast percentage of their sales were national?

I am, of course not talking about the Coke's or the Fords of the world. I am talking about a local businesses that also do some ecommerce. 
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I tend to agree with you, +Mike Blumenthal,  the local page would be more appropriate in a case like this (local storefront regardless of sales radius). 
 
I think this page does the trick. Even though it shows that she's in New York - I wouldn't think this would negatively impact her in any way? Are there any studies done on this?
 
I think the trouble comes in when the brand as a whole is trying to push out a message and touch base with their fans. When you don't have the national presence to represent the brand, you find yourself pushing out the same message on however many local pages you have. So you end up getting stuck in a rut of not having a good way to do both. Google Places really needs a better way of dealing with that aspect. 
Peggy K
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It would be interesting to know how universal your results are - does it hold true for other businesses? 
 
How many times people search with a business name vs the product they wish to buy, say a diamond ring?
What about the results then?
 
For most single-location businesses, I think a local Google+ page is the better option, even if they operate nationally or internationally, not least because of the reviews, and this confirms it (local Google+ page appears in the knowledge graph, even when the query is not local). More often the problem arises when a business has ended up with a local Google+ page and a brand Google+ page, that they cannot merge, and the latter (the brand Google+ page) has gained traction, and has accumulated followers, +1s, etc. Then it's complicated.
 
very interested in this as well, and have been trying to come up with a strategy that uses both, or a good reason to use a Brand page over a Local page
 
+Steve Bertolacci I would agree that having multiple location pages would be a clear use case that favors a brand page tactic in addition to local pages.

Possibly with each location page sharing the most recent post from that page. Hopefully someday, Google will create a formal parent child relationship between the page types. 

+Peggy K I think that Google's willingness to show any knowlege graph panel would be a function of strength of the page & website... so if a business puts the effort into a given page it would show. 

+Jaana Nyström Are you asking if a G+ post would do better from one page type than another in the general search results? That is also a question I am asking although I have to believe that if the post is shared and linked to it would show up in general search results regardless of the page type on which it originated. A post is a post. 
 
+Mike Blumenthal Here's hoping you can get a solid answer from Google - it shouldn't be this hard. Keep us posted.
 
+Joe Mayo I doubt that Google will answer this question directly. I think we need to find examples of use cases and ascertain the tactics and strategies ourselves. 

My current thinking is that if it is a single or dual location business with an additional national presence then G+ Local pages are the way to go. And all posts and social development efforts focus on that page. 

If it is a brand with 10s or hundreds of locations then it probably makes sense to have both page types. 

But the reason that I put this question out there is that I have very little experience with brand or company pages and I don't want my blind spots to prevent me from articulating an appropriate strategy.
Alex C.
 
+Mike Blumenthal I think you nailed it on the last comment.

single or dual location business = G+ Local pages are the way to go

10s or hundreds of locations = both page types.
 
+Mike Blumenthal Bingo Mike! I too have almost no exp with that kind of muti-locational client....so I hope if you do find out - you blog on same cause one never knows when such a client may come along, eh! :-) 
 
I just searched in Incognito for "Google apps myyjä" which is Google Apps seller in Finnish.

I know two companies on Google+, one with a sort of Google+ "Local" page: (weird, isn't it - a mix)
https://plus.google.com/+GappsFi/about
Not on the first page, unless I search with the city (Helsinki), then they both appear.

The other has a normal Google+ business page:
https://plus.google.com/+VerkkoapsFi/about
On the first page.

No knowledge graph results or maps in the results.
 
+Mike Blumenthal  - this may not be a good example.  It is not a given that a LKP will appear for a brand name search of a local business outside of it's geographic area.  

Barbara Oliver's page is more than well-optimized to the point that simply searching for "Barbara Oliver" pulls the LKP over all the other Barbara Oliver's in the world.

In addition, Google is not doing themselves any favors in stemming the tide of Places Spam by showing the LKP outside of the geographic area.

By doing so they encourage every business that does not qualify for Places Listing to verify one just so they can get a LKP with stars, reviews, etc to appear in the search results. 
 
It is not a given that a LKP will appear for a brand name search of a local business outside of it's geographic area. 

It isn't a given for a brand or company page either. My point is that if it is possible for a LKG to show than why bother with a brand or company page if you are a single location?
 
Agreed, I think that would be the best practice at the moment.

It's all still pretty new, so hard to say what Google has in mind for Brand or Company pages in serps.
 
Let me see if I understand correctly: For the businesses marketing countrywide, the only possible appearance of the map thingy (LKG?) is when someone from the same location does the search?

No matter what page type?
 
+Mike Blumenthal you have touched on a really important subject. I've raised this issue in my presentation at +Search Marketing Expo (SMX) Munich a few days ago, but I'm afraid I had no relevant Googlers in the audience. I'll try again in Sydney in May, preparing a really big post about Google+ at the moment and this will be one of my main points in terms of potential system improvements. 
 
+Jaana Nyström No, the Knowledge Graph panel should show for any page type on a brand search IF the page is prominent enough. So a local Knowledge Graph will show for searches done outside of the same location. 

Given that should a single location business need to also develop a brand page for national searches? It appears not, that the local page would do just fine in that use case. 
 
+Dan Petrovic thanks for chiming in. I too have asked Google but have not gotten a response. Which is why I am attempting to define the parameters of practice in different scenarios. 
 
+Mike Blumenthal Let's put our heads together in an effort to find the best way to handle this. The issue is complex and solutions I have personally come up with may not necessarily fit everyone universally. I'll ping you when I have my first framework defined.
 
+Dan Petrovic Sound good. I can review it from my frame of reference (local) and see what it looks like. Thanks
 
+Joy Hawkins I know of no user research in this area.
+Masatake Wasa It is complicated yes... because of the users desires not coinciding with Google's reality. In the end there is probably a simple test: Does the Knowledge Panel show for either the brand/company or the local page on a non local brand search? If the brand page doesn't show, I would suggest that the user accept reality and go with the local page. 
 
+Mike Blumenthal, I think it will have to be a very tough judgement call, which has to be taken on a case-by-case basis, especially as things can change rapidly: what is true today may not be true tomorrow with Google search (particularly with something like the knowledge graph). If the costs and / or losses are minimal, then I think your suggested test is a really sound one. It's a problem when the brand page really has got something going, in terms of followers and engagement.
 
Google is currently working on a way to connect brand pages to local pages (e.g. post on the brand page and auto-post on local pages) and convert improperly-configured brand pages into the kind that can be locally verified.
 
+Masatake Wasa absolutely!

+Mark Goho Here is what a Google spokesperson said to me:

Me:
A multi location business has created a Google+ page for Business (but not in the local category) and has 25 locations. Should they keep the Business page AND claim the 25 locations? Should they get rid of the current Business page and just claim the 25 locations? Should they just wait?

The spokesperson noted:

In the case you outlined, we’d encourage the business owner to hold tight until we enable verification for more and more businesses. 

The date? August 2012. So my suggestion is do not hold your breath. 

https://blumenthals.com/blog/2012/08/10/google-business-pages-to-merge-or-not-to-merge-that-is-the-question/
 
...why would they also need a Brand or Company page for national or international marketing?

What is the perception of a user that sees the LKG as opposed to a brand or company page?  Perception is significant.  Also future expansion possibilities...  

There are a lot of other examples in the local space B&H Photo, Junior's Cheesecake, etc  Brands that sell nationally and are well known - but have one or few brick and mortar locations.    
 
+Zachary Palmer when I search for the brand B+H I see a brand page but when I search for Junior's Cheescake I see the LKP.

B+H has the unusual benefit of having a Wikipedia page which definitely adds some juice to their brand page. As does their 26,000 followers. 

Junior's on the other hand has been feature by Zagat which is likely why their local knowledge panel shows. Interestingly they have not socialized their local page so the panel nor search result offers any way to get to the page. 

Great examples although not clear that a brand strategy was needed by either although in the case of B&H obviously well executed.

Are you saying that they should or should not have a brand page? 
 
Mike, this is a great question and worth knowing the answer to. However, do you think the answer may be affected by the typo in the search phrase ("Jwwelery") in one of the searches?
 
+Scott Thomas that was an initial search so embedded in the url but isn't the actual search if you click on it
 
Im currently setting up google+ pages for some friends with businesses. one of them has a local point of sale, but also a web shop. Which kind of page do you think would serve them best? I am leaning against a brand page rather than a local page. so the stores webpage is linked with the page for google search results. 

Found this post via google search btw
 
I strongly lean toward the G+ Page for local to service both sides of the business. One effort, double duty.

Plus national clients get to see the reviews. 
 
+Mike Blumenthal I'm saying that whether or not a company needs a brand page depends largely on their goals and audience.  These brands I shared have a national footprint, both B&H and Junior's - but they also have singular brick and mortar locations (they are local businesses that do some ecommerce) like the jeweler.  I think the brand exposure is similar...So why select one tactic over the other simply because of search results?   

I know this isn't the question...But...

From a brand position I'd emphasize the website not their Google+ pages  A headline like "Buffalo's  Finest Jeweler's"  hurts any sense of national brand for me, personally.  
 
+Zachary Palmer good point but I don't see how the local page in any way prevents them achieving their goals. It would if there were a distinct marketing approach and a different audience for sure. But with B+H is that the case?

Barbara has no interest in national exposure. I would think that if she put her mind to it and was interested in national exposure she could come up with a more meaningful phrase that didn't limit her audience. My point is that is equally possible on both type of pages. 

The goal is to achieve maximum exposure for the least amount of work. Or rather the lowest cost as defined by work and resources available, no? So the question is: how do you do that?

If you have really distinct target markets and need distinct messaging and its cost effective then by all means do several pages. 

Most SMBs do not have the luxury and can make the one do double duty more effectively. 

Some of the the problem really stems from Google not clearly helping business understand the options. 
 
+Mike Blumenthal I don't think having a local page prevents Barbara from achieving their goal - that's my point.  If she has no interest in national exposure, that further supports the argument of - no need for branded page...

Maybe Barbara wasn't the best example?  Maybe a brand that WANTS national exposure but has a singular location would be more appropriate to answer the questions?  That's the case with B&H.  Which is why I believe they have a branded page https://plus.google.com/+BandH/posts   

On your last point - I FULLY agree... Google has issues with helping businesses understand a lot of things.  
 
How would doing their thing on a local page, prevent B & H from achieving their goal? That is what I am having trouble understanding. They chose a brand page but we do not know if they did so from a position of knowledge. Given that Google surely didn't explain it.
 
Correct, Google surely didn't explain it.

But to me - it's perception.  Until recently, I didn't even know B&H had a physical business location.  Had I known (from a LKG result from a local Google+ page for example) - that may have influenced my decision to buy from them.  That is one way it may prevent a company from reaching their goals.  +Mike Blumenthal 
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