Has Google finally killed Facebook?

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What ever your personal feelings are about Google, there is no denying that they know how to make themselves relevant.

To date Googles attempts at Social Media have been less than fruitful…Orkut, Wave and Google Buzz have all failed in making any significant impact as Social Media platforms.

But, here in lies the greatness of Google, they will work on a concept until they have it right. Now this is a luxury you can afford to have when you are the first stop for pretty much everybody on the web. If you are looking for something, 9 times out of 10, you will Google it.

So, why is Google trying to create its own Facebook? Well, I think the answer may be a bit obvious…In order to harness the two greatest powers on Earth (…cue the slight over-exaggeration).

Google+ is attempting to do this by challenging Facebook in the Social Media space and so far not really making a dent. So, now Google needs to pull out the big guns…bring in INDEXING CONTENT ON GOOGLE+.  What does this mean? This means that if you search for ‘fishing tackle’ in Google you will get relevant sites, blogs and NOW content from Google+. As a regular punter this probably doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but as a business this is an amazing turn of events. It has just made Google+ Business pages the place to be.

As of  June, 2012 Facebook has 950 million members. Up to this point it is not fully indexed by Google meaning that most of this content will never be seen or have any shelf life past an accidental glimpse on a Facebook Wall Feed. Equally, if Google had indexed Facebook’s content this potentially could have overwhelmed every search and made finding of useful, relevant search query’s very difficult.


Well how has Google+ done this and what does it mean for my business and my marketing energies.

Google describes this as a new search experience centered around people called Search plus Your World. For the first time ever, you will be able to find personal results from your world — your photos, your friends, your stuff — in search queries.  Jack Menzel, product management director of search, explained that now Google+ members will be able to “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web.”

Google+ Business Pages can be added to your Google+ circles (how you segment your connections determines what content they see). Users can add brands such as Coca Cola, Manchester United and Guinness to their circles, read their information and look at their photos. When Google+ers add a brand to their circles, it increases that brand’s follower count (just like the ‘Likes’ on Facebook).

In order to use this new service you need to be signed into your Google+ account (to ensure privacy peramitters are followed). This will keep the newbie, Google+, in the fore-front of our minds as a relevant social engine. Google thinks this is exactly the type of relevant content users desire…for if you didn’t want to know what your contacts are doing and saying why did you connect with them in the first place.

Lance Ulanoff of Mashable wonders if “this is the big lever Google needed to propel the Google+ social platform forward and past rivals like Facebook and Twitter? It’s definitely a turning point and it’ll be interesting to see how Facebook, in particular responds”.

This could be a very beneficial way for businesses who are already running campaigns and promotions that leverage their Facebook presence to include the Google+ platform in these activities. For instance, letting customers (visitors) know that they can sign up or avail of a particular offer or competition not only on Facebook but also Google+.  The added benefit is that anything done on Google+ will continue to show up on search results for the Google+er giving your companies marketing messages a much better chance of being seen over and over.

The total impact of these changes might not be seen for quite some time but certainly the businesses that start early and build up a sizable number of followers on Google+ stand a much better chance of getting results then those companies that are trying to play catch up with the next big thing. If it never takes off then all that has been wasted is a bit of time, but the possible benefits, I think, make it a risk worth taking. Google very rarely fails at projects it puts its substantial weight behind.


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