Google's new Pages could change the game
The company now allows businesses to establish a presence on its Google+ social network.
Although Facebook has already established itself in promoting business pages, Google can provide an additional advantage to businesses by providing extensive integration between Google+ and other features such as Google Search and Google Apps. These moves will help draw businesses in promoting themselves and could threaten to extend its lead over Yahoo (YHOO) and AOL (AOL) in the online advertising market.
See our full analysis for Google's stock
Google+ Badge more than just a 'like'
One important initiative that followed Google+ Pages was the launch of Google+ Badges. While the "+1" feature closely resembles Facebook's "Like" button, it can unlock a lot of opportunities for integrating business pages on Google+ with Google's biggest strength: search.
Along with growing and monitoring the audience who follow a page (much like Facebook), the Google+ Badge would also show up on Google's search results showing how much a particular brand or business is being recommended. This could definitely provide additional incentive to businesses to sign up on Google+.
Google+ a more well-rounded platform?
Additionally, with Google+ being already integrated with YouTube, Chrome and Google Apps, brands and businesses might find it increasingly convenient to have their pages on the site. This provides a host of marketing and promotional channels at once, including documents, videos and a social network/sharing platform for the same. While this integration would only increase in future, matching Facebook's 750 million-member scale would continue to be Google's biggest challenge.
We currently have a price estimate near $628 for Google's stock, which is around 4% above the current market price.
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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