By B.L. Ochman
Google+ is headed for 20 million members by this weekend, and, depending on who you talk to, it’s either an epic success or an epic failure. But I think many of my esteemed colleagues are looking at Google+ from the wrong point of view.
Everyone is writing about circles, privacy, hang outs, and whether people will switch from Facebook to Google+.
But much more interesting stuff is and has been going on behind the scenes. Brands, publishers and agencies should take note and prepare to participate.
The real meat of Google+
The real meat of Google+ is in Profiles, mobile payments, and authorship claims – all of which are going to solidify Google’s dominance (ComScore reports it’s the first company every to hit one billion unique users a month) as the world’s best damn search engine, online, in the cloud, and in mobile. You’ll find me on Google+ here
I think Facebook will continue its dominance as a social scene, and Google+ will become the dominant social network for business.
Sure there are glitches in Google+ features now, and there’ll be more. But Google is listening, and already changing and adapting to what people want within the Google+ beta. They’re thinking way beyond today, into a future where all online content will be integrated, and the semantic web will be in full effect.
Google says that claiming authorship of your content “gives Google what we need to better identify you as the author of web content.”
When Google detects content you’ve marked as yours, we’ll list that content on the +1 tab of your Google Profile (we’ll do this automatically as soon as you’ve +1’d at least one webpage).
As Search Engine Journal notes “At the very least, though, it’s phenomenal news for those who write.
I believe Google’s use of the +1 button to identify authorship of online content will be a sea change in search, in influence building, and in online reputation management.
Google already has the Google Checkout payment system and merchants already show up in searches for products.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks open to businesses, Google already has built-in productivity apps for enterprise, including email, in use by more than 200 million gmail users, plus more than 3 million businesses using its APPs. Google has announced that Apps will undergo some sort of massive version change on July 19th, and that surely will be related to Google+.
Ufuk Kayserilioglu reports that Google confirms that it already is testing some interfacing of Google+ with Google APPS and they’ve already begun to offer additional email storage upgrades for a fee.
How to get your business ready for Google+
• While businesses are asked not to create a profile on Google+ yet (and ones that do will find them deleted) you should be adding the Google +1 button (Google’s version of the Tweet This or Facebook Like button) to your websites, blogs, content, and ads.
It is likely that these “votes of confidence” from users will show up on their Google+ profile pages and be integrated into Google’s search rankings secret sauce. These are already being incorporated into Google search engine results.
• Apply for a Google+ Entity Profile to be part of the beta testing of including brands in the Google+ experience.
The biggest negative
The biggest negative I see is that integration of Google+ features (circles, email, documents, photos, chat, hangouts, etc.) will let Google know even more about what we search, who we interact with, what we like, where we go and with whom (calendar, maps, directions) and our search results will adapt to those preferences, which is the opposite of what I want search to do. This is a very dangerous trend, that could have huge political, social, and business implications.
Issues are complex
The issues are complex, and it’s way too soon to write Google+ off as a failure, say it doesn’t matter, or to think it’s the holy grail.
The one thing that’s for sure is that it’s one of the more interesting social concepts to come along in a long time. And you can bet Mr. Zuckerburg is burning the midnight oil this week wishing he could kill Google+ with his great big hunting knife.
– How to Get Started With Google+, Your Complete Guide, via Social Media Examiner
– Best tips, tricks & add-ons for Google+ from Geek.com
– My friend and colleague, David Berkowitz, has already fallen into and out of love with Google+ Why Google+ doesn’t matter and Why Google+ matters
Hat tip to Ted Newcomb
I see GooglePlus as providing many features and privacy options that users have been begging the web disease Facebook to give them. But Facebook is a user-hostile personal data pump full of spammy games and rogue apps.
I like how GooglePlus is deleting business accounts, anonymous bloggers, and pseudonym users. They are trying to make it the super geek social network for the time being. I think they have a different goal than Facebook, as they made it deliberately rich (or complex).
GooglePlus is causing a riot. People are claiming incredible SEO for their posts and many are abandoning their branded blogs, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Empire Avenue, etc. to focus all their efforts and time on GooglePlus.
I love that.
i would never abandon my blog – my personal real estate, built on a solid 10-year foundation – for any social network. Integrate, yes, abandon, never!
i also like the approach, at least so far. It’ll get noisy soon. and i think it’ll get hard to follow. i like twitter because it’s quick. i wish i could just see headlines in Google+. but that may happen
Really good, meaty stuff here, especially about the authorship connections. (Here’s our quick take on Google+ http://bit.ly/google-plus-biz)
The other thing I see happening with Google+ in the future is that it will become the central dashboard for all things Google. You’d better believe they have a plan for integrating Picasa (soon to become Google Photos), Reader, Docs, YouTube, your contacts from Gmail, Groups and Analytics into the G+ dashboard. Once they do that, it’ll be impossible *not* to use it.
Right on BL. As usual, you are seeing the big picture better than most. And there is much, much, more to come from Google Plus down the road :)
thank you George! you are so right! this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg
good job as always, BL. most importantly, not downplaying the negatives, and there are some. looking forward to you doing more of my work for me, so keep researching, i have to impress the powers that be with my inside knowledge!
LOL! happy to be of service. There certainly are negatives, not the least of which are the complexities of switching to the new Google APPs and Gmail, and integrating your profile into it.
you’ll hear a lot of complaints about that next week when the changes are instituted system wide and gmails 300 million users, the majority of whom are not geeks, have to geek out.
Insightful article BL — so agree with what you write… Google already has products/more in the works (unlike Facebook relying upon 3rd parties), an infrastructure comprised of established users, and now a social networking platform tying it all together.
I think one of the issues in the debate is not only which platform will emerge in the #1 Social Networking Power Position, but really — how much use will be made of the platform. Google has immense potential. How it all plays out will be interesting, but most intriguing to me as an indie marketing pro, is the inherent market segmentation that I observe as emerging…
he number of users using Google’s new Google+ social network has climbed to over 10 million with more than 1 billion daily shares. It’s no big shock that cybercriminals–perhaps too easily caught on other social networking platforms such as Facebook–will pick Google+ as a new target.
Should this give Google+ users a cause for concern? Maybe, but let’s take a look at several ways you can keep your privacy secure.