Google Plus larger cover photo

Google Plus Redesign for Brand Pages: What it Means for You

Google announced on Wednesday, March 6, several changes to Google+ user profiles and brand pages, most of which are purely aesthetic redesigns. The changes include:

Larger Cover Photos

New cover photos will display at a maxium of 2120×1192 pixels and a 16:9 ratio when fully expanded. This new cover photo is an upgrade from the previous slim banner-like cover photo. Also, profile pictures will display in the bottom left corner of the new cover photo in a circular format rather than the previous square that was off to the right. The circular profile image specs still require a minimum size of 250×250 pixels.

Google Plus Confirm upgrade

Google Plus larger cover photo

Once a profile or page upgrades to this new cover photo layout, the change cannot be undone.

Local Reviews Tab

This new tab offers users a place to highlight favorite restaurants and reviews. Users can also choose to hide the tab completely within their settings. It’s possible that this new tab is another tactic from Google aimed at expanding local search.

Google Plus New Reviews Tab

It appears that this tab is currently slated as a user-only feature; however, within a brand page’s settings there is now a Reviews tab listed (and it is checked as visible by default, though the tab does not actually display on the page).

Google Plus Reviews Tab

Updated About Tab

This change is being implemented across both user profiles and brand pages. Essentially, it is just an aesthetic and UX upgrade. The newly designed About tab displays the same information as before, but in separate cards for each section of the tab. This new design also allows users and brand page managers to more simply edit a single section of information.

Google Plus New About Tab

Implications for Brands

These changes are primarily aesthetic, so for now, the immediate need for brands is to update the cover photo and profile picture to comply with the updated specs and layout.

It is too soon to tell what the potential implications of the Local Reviews tab may be for brand pages. It is possible that Google may intend to aggregate users’ Google Reviews of a given brand, venue, or business into the Reviews tab on the respective brand, venue, or business page. At this point, we’ve seen no public indication from Google as to how reviews will be populated and we are awaiting a response from our Google rep.

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  • Alan Chapman
    Posted at 01:36h, 25 March

    Hi, thanks for this useful post. I have a question about the new Reviews tab. We are building Google+ brand pages which I have noticed do now have the Reviews tab. Where do customers go to actually leave a review though? Do we also need to establish a Google+ Local page to allow customers to add a review, and then the brand page pulls reviews from that? Thanks,

  • anneonymity
    Posted at 16:46h, 27 March

    Alan – these are great questions. Because this functionality is so new, I’ve yet to find an example of a brand that has both enabled the Reviews tab and has the Reviews tab populated by user reviews. My assumption of how this tab will work echoes your second question in that I think the Reviews tab will be populated based on reviews users leave on a local Google+ page that has been verified (and connected to the brand page). I’ve been perplexed by these questions myself and have yet to find any clarifying information. I’ll be sure to update the post once more info is available. Thanks again!

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