Oh! The Google+

And before this statement comes true it is clear that Google needs to rethink the whole strategy around the Social Network.

Why the Social Network?

And no matter what you say this is what everyone else hear “because Facebook!”.

Now user did move from Orkut to Facebook not because“Why Facebook?” and the answer being “because Orkut”, there was clearly more, a superior product offering, more than what Orkut ever offered, capable of engaging millions of people across the globe.

So Why Google+?

And more I think about it, answer still remains “because Facebook” and that possibly is the reason 1 besides may be slightly better privacy controls and different layout to offer why it would just not be able to compete with Facebook. Because that is not what users want.

Or the Brands, I mean yes they would love to slice and dice their communications addressing different groups (Circles) within their single large network (instead of creating multiple pages like on Facebook) but then they want “Users” to begin with and Ghost Town ain’t got it.

Go Mobile (Stupid):

Q: Where are the millions of the users ready to switch?
Answer: On Mobile.

Why? Because, well Facebook on Mobile is not a great (not even good) product and that’s where this war would be won/lost. You clearly need to concentrate on building a great product for mobile one that would be a delight to use across platforms/networks/devices. Users would want it every time Facebook fails to perform.

Mobile is where users are going to access their Social Network from, more often than not, and they would expect the product to perform at the least. What performs better on Mobile leads the game.

Facebook continues to struggle fixing Mobile, building monetization strategy while you gain momentum with superior usable product optimized or may be even built for MOBILES gaining more and more users as we all go along.

Are there not more Android getting sold than other platforms put together yet? A superior Mobile product is the only game you need to play and play it really well.

Hint: There are obviously more ways to make any Android phone a seamless appendage of Google+ social platform 🙂

Bigger Offerings:

Currently Brands use Google Advertising to drive traffic to their pages on Facebook or independent destinations further linked to Facebook. While you drive traffic, Facebook gains and so does brands but is it what you would continue doing?

Your Sales Teams need people beyond the regular messenger boys, you need Sales Consultants to do strategies for the brands, right from making Pages on Google+ to driving traffic to page to building communities to benefit Brands and the Platform itself. End-to-end!

You need to utilize social data better combined with mobile data (location, user search history, user interaction behavior patterns, on Android platforms even re-targeting) because you can, to deliver more effective even if less engaging brand solutions which works as well with the brands in fact may be even better.

Better Hangouts:

Differentiation is great and you have done a good job with Hangouts so far. It still begs to differ and want more.

– Let people play social games on hangouts. Open up the damn APIs.
– Let Hangouts reach out to third party sites. That is way better than Facebook connect offering limited functionalities in comparison.
– Hangout within Youtube. Video is the future and has immense power to bring users together.
– Have prominent actors, athletes, authors, CEOs, and other industry leaders raffle off invitations to specially scheduled Hangouts and watch the masses sign up. (Twitter Celebs)

Hangouts are FUN! but who knows? So REPOSITION!

Repositioning:

As the repositioning strategy start Aggressively designing for users first, not nerds. Siri de-nerdified voice interaction on a mobile device. Google had the opportunity and the technology to do this with Android’s Voice Actions and you didn’t. Suddenly Google is playing catchup on a technology they had a huge initial jump on.

STOP playing the catchup game.

Rethink OPEN, Rethink CONTROL:

Control Android, just throw your weight around. Any device that carries Google logo, make it adhere to strict quality checks for usability and un-uninstallable crapware, sometimes even disabling the core Android features.

Open” doesn’t necessarily mean every feature gets included, and it doesn’t necessarily mean cheap and mediocre. New iOS is doing away with you, you need to do away with other crap ware for starters and it still remains “Open” for anything that passes the quality checks.

To Sum up – Go Mobile!

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

Next Big Advertising Platform? Facebook?

So it was not long back that Facebook outnumbered Google as the number 1 most visited site in the U.S. But does that mean that it’s just a matter of time that Facebook would become the number one most visited site Globally and hence, the Next Big Advertising Giant ?

After all we know that advertising revenues thrives on traffic.

So here we have an attractive advertising platform with huge traffic numbers and where you can target audiences based not only on demographics

but also the more powerful – Social Connections. (Note: both of which Google fails to provide)

.

Social Connections is such a powerful form of targeting because it’s based on the simple premise that the people you know and regularly interact with are more likely to demonstrate similar brand affinities than those who simply share the same demographic or psycho-graphic profile.

And we in Online Media just Love to Embrace the Targeting, don’t we? Targeting = Money Well Spent 🙂

Facebook also is able to link its ads with the User’s network of friends, giving advertisers the extra bonus.

Now when a friend  *Endorses* the ad, we do tend to give that ad a second look, don’t we?

The Marketeers have another need which is the length of exposure to their advertising message which again is more effectively addressed by Facebook than Google.

Add to this the fact that all users spend twice as much time on Facebook than on Google which essentially has to do with the purpose and the pattern of the site usage.

While Google helps its users to reach their information destination as quickly as possible, Facebook is about spending more time socializing and playing games on the site.

In all what it delivers is longer ‘Impression Time’ for more & more number of impressions, so more likely hood to interact with the ads.

Summing Up:

So Facebook is the platform that not only gives you lots of impressions (high traffic) with longer ‘Impression Time’ but also the impressions are only served to people you want (targeting) who in turn can endorse and so recommend it to be displayed to user’s social connections (trust) making it go viral and get you better results.

Future: What if Facebook someday releases it’s own search engine which combines both content algorithms and socialgraphics into one? Wouldn’t that be a perfect advertising platform?

Anubhav Sharma