Do you think at any point, the good people at the ‘plex considered that the simplicity of Google was the main reason so many people use it (and subsequent reason why so many G products don’t really get off the ground)? And by “integrating” all these products and prioritising the much hyped (and spectacularly crap) Google+, they will in fact begin to push people away to competing search engines. Which, IMO, is no bad thing (for everyone but Google).
For those not entirely in the loop of Google’s frantic attempt at world domination, here’s the short version. Search dominance. Created crap ad program. Shafted the competition (affiliates). Bought out a bunch of companies. Shafted the competition in more markets. Kept quiet about the fact that they were harvesting data from all their free products. Laughed while Bing poured money down the drain trying to compete. Sucker punched the webmaster community who had been providing aforementioned free data for all those years. Cried when Facebook wouldn’t share their toys. Currently pouring money away trying to compete in the social media market. Clearly not seeing the comparisons between Bing trying to compete in search and Google trying to compete in social. Now trying to leverage mammoth traffic levels to hook people into sharing their personal data like they did to webmasters (before shafting them).
Did I miss anything?
You’ll never be Facebook
People like Facebook (pardon the pun). I mean, real people. Not companies or marketing professionals who have had the carrot dangled in front of their mouths, salivating at the prospect of even an imperceptible boost to the holy grail of Google rankings. You know how Google has played their cards quite close to their chest for all these years – no transparency when it comes to rankings and penalties – webmaster community climbing over each other to try and appease the mighty Google.
In many ways, the webmaster community were both the reason for Google’s success and a victim of it. Perhaps that’s why Google thinks these early adopters will help kick off their social media domination.
But I don’t think things will work out that way. Look at how Facebook started out – students – groups of friends – a network that built up naturally. Now look at how Google+ started out – businesses & marketing professionals – SEOs (who make a living from gaming Google), many of whom have fairly negative opinions of Google. That’s a somewhat “poisoned” starting group of users – how will that ever grow organically like Facebook did? It may become something big, but I don’t think it’ll ever become the social network Facebook is.
How much spam did other social media channels have within months of launch?
There are already loads of “buy Google plus one” services out there, but I guess those were previously established networks geared up for Digg, Facebook and Twitter spamming – so a G+ service offering isn’t that hard to do. But there are still quite a lot of people shooting at G+ for such a new product and although Google have faced that particular issue for years with their search product, will it be too much for a social network to handle?
People can deal with poor quality search results – in fact, most normal (non SEO geeks) are none the wiser. People tend to notice when spam makes their way into their social circle. I haven’t used G+ much except for a bit of a play around when it was launched – I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it so I didn’t stick with it. But I do see loads of people on Twitter complain about it because their business orientated social circle is suddenly poisoned with spam and irrelevant crap like photos of kittens and random jokes.
And there’s the stumbling block for Google. They’ve taken a step forward on the basis that business users will drive their product to the next stage, but the reality is that it isn’t a particularly good social network for business users and it’s a pale competitor to Facebook for regular users. That’s the flaw in the strategy. Look at new navigation bar – I use search (I have a toolbar for that). I used maps (I have an app for that). I use Youtube (I have an app for that). I use Adwords, Adsense and Analytics (those haven’t even made it to the primary – or secondary navigation).
The whole move reeks of geek logic applied to business. Bland designs and high ambitions with no real substance.
Share this article...
...or leave a comment below.