A number of companies, who thought they had a jump start, may be losing their current Google+ Profiles, as Google is not offering this until later in the year - though there will be a test group of some select non-user profiles, Christian Oestlien, a product manager on Google Plus explained in a YouTube video.
"The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses. We just ask for your patience while we build it," Oestlien stated.
The Google policy team will be shutting down offenders - though some of Google's bigger advertisers have profiles already and may get in to the beta test being offered.
“Some of the existing profiles might be included in our testing,” Oestlien noted. “We’ll be reviewing everything on a case by case basis once we have a sense for user interest.”
How quickly they are turned off and which ones make it to the test group will be worth tracking. “They’ll be shut down whether they submit the form or not, assuming they’re not part of the experiment,” said Google’s Jim Prosser told TNW regarding existing businesses using consumer profiles.
The announcement to shut down "business" profiles came 24 hours after Search Engine Watch reported a fake profile posing as the Google Plus team.
It was actively confirming news that were, in fact, just rumors - such as Google+ going public before July 31st and that Picasa and Blogger were going to get rebranded. Google+ users responded to the news as if it was true when, in fact, in conversation with SEW more than one press spokesperson from Google declined to comment on the rumors.
That profile is now shut down.
TheNextWeb.com (TNW) - a popular industry publication had about 5,000 members before its profile was shutdown.
Yet, at the time of writing, Search Engine Land's profile and their associated product profiles are all still up.
It is good to see that Google is taking action on a tactic that was clearly against the terms of service of Google+. However, if they are reserving some profiles and not others for the experiment, then they are creating a double standard. All busines profiles should be deleted and then re-created with permission as part of the experiment, otherwise they are just creating further incentive to brands to get a business profile up and get a head start on attracting followers now, in the hope that Google will allow them to continue.
If Google insists webmasters and brands play by the rules in search, it does not behoove them to bend the rules in social.