Following up from our advice to brands yesterday, it looks like our direction to play with Google+ on a personal level and wait to do anything as a brand was on-target: It turns out that Google is not supporting brands or other non-human entities right now, and they may even remove attempts by brands to game the current Google+ set-up.
This policy came to light after Danny Sullivan, a longtime search expert and beloved search industry figure, complained about trying to get his company presence established on Google+. Bradley Horowitz, the former Yahoo exec who made a buzzworthy jump to Google, commented directly on Sullivan’s gripe post:
Let me be clear – and I’m sorry if this wasn’t obvious – we are not currently supporting brands, organizations, and non-human entities in the Google+ field trial. While we should have been clearer about this, there are some fields in the registration form (asking for a first name, a last name, an age and a gender) that indicate that.
Supporting these non-human entities is an obviously great feature – we have no allergy to it at all! It’s just not part of the system we are currently testing.
Reinforcing the point that we made yesterday about the extremely “beta” nature of Google+, Horowitz added:
The field trial has limitations that I know are frustrating – ranging from lack of “obvious” features to inability to invite the people you most want to share with… We weren’t kidding when we said this was early and a test… and if the product leads to more frustration than you can bear, then that’s understandable and I promise that you will see fast and meaningful progress… and you can jump back in when we meet your bar for minimum viable functionality.
Jeff Huber, Google VP of Local and Commerce, also commented on another blog that “we’re coding as fast as we can“.
So for now, brands really are better off observing and learning from what’s happening on a personal level. Use Google+ as a personal sandbox that can give you insights for brand use – but don’t get kicked out of the sandbox for trying to build castles without a permit.