Google +1 – A Potential Game Changer?

A while back Google uncovered its own version of the Facebook “like button” called Google +1 or the “+1 button”. This has received a lot of interest lately however several web owners/marketers, including myself, tend to be cynical.

Through the years Google has continually ended up perfecting improvements on their search algorithm. Google has accumulated records from click-throughs in order to get a resolve on what end users liked and what many others did not. Therefore it makes a perfect sense for them to pursue a means of eliciting direct suggestions from users.

The problem is, similar to Google Wave, which lived a short existence, Google +1 may be headed to the identical fate and here’s why i think so…

Launch Strategy:

The primary concern is the launch strategy. Since the “+1” switch for internet sites aren’t going to be readily available for several months and not just weeks, so users are eventually left to “+1” content in search results alone which is pretty vague. None of us actually have an occasion where we are like, “Wow! That is an excellent Meta description. I really like this website already!”

Do they really expect me to go back from the website to the search results (following that decision) to exhibit my endorsement?

I don’t think so. Something else interesting has already sprang high on Twitter or one more of my social networks, and I am on my way over there.

The Trouble is – Individuals do not have that kind of Internet Attention Span anymore.

In the months which it takes to get the +1 button out to web-masters, the Google social “haters” will be loud on about an additional huge social failure by Google, making the release of the button much less significant with every passing day.

In the meantime, just about every SEO specialist on the planet will probably be creating countless Google accounts and “+1-ing” all of their clients. (In fact, that could be a fantastic short-term income opportunity 🙂 )

Google does indeed search well – Social, not really

Google has long been experimenting to be able to launch a social-oriented solution, for instance Google Wave, that were not well received. With social sites like Facebook and Twitter already on the scene with vast sums of users, it will be hard to convince people to interface his or her social networks/contacts over in order to fully benefit from +1.

Google cannot do social. From their post announcing the new feature…

“When you do a search, you may now see a +1 from your slalom-skiing aunt next to the result for a lodge in the area. Or if you’re looking for a new pasta recipe, we’ll show you +1’s from your culinary genius college roommate. ”

The issue is that I’m not connected to my slalom-skiing auntie or even my cooking genius college roomie on Gmail. I’m linked to them on Facebook.

Electronic mail isn’t “social” any longer. It really is for business. The people that I am connected to on Gmail are my co-workers and also clients, and they do not essentially provide the exact same value of “liking” information which my buddies on Facebook would certainly.

How Social is that?

Unlike various other social networks, Google’s social encounter doesn’t have a central library where all your +1’s can surface for other users to consume or interact with. Basically if I strike the Facebook Like button on a news, that ‘Like’ shows up inside the news feeds of my friends. Therefore I know that when I share something on Facebook there’s an excellent chance that my Facebook friends will see it and there is high likely hood that they would comment on it. The same could be stated with regard to Twitter and even Digg.

However, that’s not the situation having +1. When you finally +1 something that’s the end of the social interaction. There’s no method to have your Google Social Circle comment on the actual recommendation or even strategy to share the information with a specific group of individuals.

It could be that Google plans on allowing people share their +1 recommendations in a much more centralized fashion in the near future, but at this time +1 is not really that compelling.

The heat is approaching

And by ‘heat’ I mean a Facebook – Microsoft Bing alliance.

Google’s golden egg is without a doubt it’s search engine which they are attempting to improve by using social search, however, they would have been in an incredible partner to be able to align with a highly effective social network such as Facebook. Instead, they have chose to compete with Facebook’s “like button”.

They may not before long have it over their heads if rumours are legitimate that Facebook will offer search powered by Bing. Facebook’s ‘like’ buttons already permeate the internet, why should we all change now because Google says we should?

What do you think?

Anubhav Sharma
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3 thoughts on “Google +1 – A Potential Game Changer?

  1. Are you not jumping the Guns?

    Google indeed has failed as far the Wave is concerned but it repeating a history with +1 looks very unlikely. I agree that they have hurried the launch but it could only be because may be they wanted to pose a threat to Bing-Facebook forthcoming discussions. Hope you understand such implications.

    As far it not really being social, it is important that we keep in mind that its possibly is only a soft launch while the larger picture will be revealed much later and I don’t think it will cause much damage considering the fact that it is indeed a most referred site in the world.

    I will update you with my thoughts via blog post soon… till then lets hope that we as a consumer get as much empowered as possible:)

  2. Hey Anubhav, this is well written …I agree mostly becoz of the following points: (but in the end you’ll see why I remain undecided)
    1. Credibility: Spammers can misuse this bigtime…by creating fake gmail ids and +1ing a particular site
    2. Network: Ditto ur point. My google contacts may not be the best representation of my preferred reference group. Whereas in Facebook, we actually allow people to be added to our network, so that makes it a tighter network.
    3. Incompleteness: Why only +1 and no -1
    4. Why now?
    Agree that , when Facebook like has existed on Bing for a year now, it’s too late to enter the game. Why would someone choose Google +1 over fb like which they are already used to?
    Google is doing so well with YouTube, android etc. in their bucket. Google is the undisputed search engine champion and is already aware of the traffic on the links provided (G Trends already showcase popularity charts of various websites). Also, when we search for something, the best fit key words and the corresponding ‘most searched’ links already pop up in that order. So what’s the added use of +1 for the user?
    Tying up with Facebook is something that would make immediate sense from the user’s point of view but I don’t think they wouldn’t have been able to sustain that from the business standpoint. They want to compete and they want to be complete ….and that is probably the only reason I think +1 has been introduced.
    I wasn’t sure of the tho: Does google search automatically sort websites in the order of popularity ? If not, then that could be a benefit from +1 ing a website.

  3. Its well written Anubhav, I agree mostly (because of the following reasons) . But in the end Youw ill see why I am still undecided…..
    1. Credibility: Spammers can misuse this bigtime…by creating fake gmail ids and +1ing a particular site
    2. Network: Ditto ur point. My google contacts may not be the best representation of my preferred reference group. Whereas in Facebook, we actually allow people to be added to our network, so that makes it a tighter network.
    3. Incompleteness: Why only +1 and no -1
    4. Why now?
    Agree that, when Facebook like has existed on Bing for a year now, it’s too late to enter the game. Why would someone choose Google +1 over fb like which they are already used to?
    Google is doing so well with YouTube, android etc. in their bucket. Google is the undisputed search engine champion and is already aware of the traffic on the links provided (G Trends already showcase popularity charts of various websites). Also, when we search for something, the best fit key words and the corresponding ‘most searched’ links already pop up in that order. So what’s the added use of +1 for the user?
    Tying up with Facebook is something that would make immediate sense from the user’s point of view but I don’t think they wouldn’t have been able to sustain that from the business standpoint. They want to compete and they want to be complete ….and that is probably the only reason I think +1 has been introduced.
    I wasn’t sure of the tho: Does google search automatically sort websites in the order of popularity ?

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