Google is smack bang in the middle of my online universe. Google dominates my search activity, is my chosen email platform, I sink hours into Google Analytics pulling out data gems and regularly get square eyes from staring at silly videos about goodness-knows-what on YouTube. My Google experience is now truly many layers deep. So diving into Google + really isn’t such a big step.
A recent Social Media Success Summit seminar I attended by Jesse Stay talked about how people are the new SEO, which got kicked off by Facebook and the other original social networks and how essentially your friends were becoming the new search engine. Google really takes this on board as a threat because it means that it’s various search engines don’t have access to all the content sharing and creation going on inside Facebook’s walls (as written in mike’s article) and hence the birth of Google+.
As previously discussed on our blog here , Google+ saw a huge uptake upon launch, and then suddenly all details regarding ACTIVE users disappeared, leaving us all questioning whether most people had just signed up, abandoned, and stuck with Facebook.
According to a recent article on Mashable Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social business, and Bradley Horowitz, Google+’s vice president of product, Google+ is simply Google’s way of taking its many disparate services — search, YouTube, Maps, etc. — and making them more relevant by incorporating the user’s personal data. If some of those services then end up rubbing up against what Facebook offers, so be it.
The defining difference between the two is that Facebook is all about relationships, you see friends reading articles, commenting on each other’s selfies and wishing each other a happy birthday. Whereas Google+ extends its social design to people and their skill sets and integrating that into the Google experience. Google + also aims to really throw open the door behind content creation and put a name to a piece of content. Anonymous content creation be-gone!
By demonstrating that content is written by real people, Google + aims to create a deeply authentic experience where real people read content created by equally real people.
A key takeout here is that by layering Google+ over the Google search engine experience, content will actually rank HIGHER if it is linked back to a Google+ profile and its creator – really tying up the whole ‘People are the new SEO’ experience. Thus giving Google+ a king hit over Facebook, allowing people to increase the SEO rankings of their content by having a Google+ profile.
The ‘contributor to’ section on your Google+ profile will become increasingly important as this connection is made. The contributor section on your Google+ profile essentially just lists any content you have a hand in creating, and linking to these destinations.
However this level of integration begs the question, does such a layered experience actually benefit users? Does the integration actually succeed in immersing us fully into the Google world or will it eventually drive us all away because all the content we are seeing is linked to the people that we know? Discovery is thrilling, finding new things and learning about concepts and ideas from people we don’t know is where innovation and progress lies, will Google and its integrated experience thwart that?