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Reshared post from +Peter G McDermott

Why Google+ Isn't Drawing the Masses
My Commentary to +Bill Seaver .

+David Beronja sent me a link to a blog post today hoping that I would comment on it. The post is by +Bill Seaver and talks about the problem Google is having drawing the masses to Google+. Sadly, his commentary is pretty downtrodden on Google+ and the way +Google is approaching social. Bill goes on to suggest that Google is only a search engine company and that they should stick to what they're good at.

Personally, I don't think Google is trying to strong arm businesses into creating a Google+ page, but I think there are some inherent advantages of businesses finding their voice here. Anyway, here's my reply to Bill's post:


I read a lot of posts similar to this on a consistent basis. From the beginning on the Google+ closed beta, I knew Google was on to something with their new vision for "real life" sharing. Of course, Google is a search engine company, but as David Beronja pointed out, search is evolving and starting to become more social. There's two things that come into play with this.

The first thing is the "assumed" success of Facebook. People simply assume that Facebook is successful because it has the most users, the most time spent on the network, the richest API and the most brands creating a presence there. It must have been a great feeling for them to see to Fortune 500 companies actually put their name BEHIND Facebook's (ie facebook.com/yourbrandhere that you see in a lot of advertisements).

The question with this "assumed" success is based on the way brands are using Facebook. Are they having any success, are they seeing conversions on their efforts, or are they just contributing to the giant waves of noise that are being generated there? If you were to talk to a lot of "social media managers" and Marketing Directors, I think you would find a lot of frustration in dealing with Facebook. Sure, it gets people talking about your business and you can brag how many people "Like" your product, but how do you measure how many of those social actions are associated with a transaction?

I think a lot of the people that compare Google+ to Facebook are only doing so because it is the only other service that is remotely similar…on the surface.

Of course, I don't know what Google is trying to create with Google+. There are surely some motives that we are currently unaware of but will be privy to them once they are released. That frightens some, but gives other some optimistic anticipation.

The second problem with the argument is that Facebook is not known to the public as a search engine. In fact, I bet if you were to ask most Americans if they have ever used the Search feature in Facebook, other than to find someone they already know, you would be surprised at the lack of people that even know it contains a search feature.

Google is known for search. The word google is now a verb and not just a noun. People Google EVERYTHING. From dinner recommendations, help with their homework, information about what college to attend. Everything that people are looking for, they seem to do it with Google. Now of course, thanks to some OEM deals, there are a lot of people that also utilize Bing, Yahoo and a handful of other services, but the masses like using Google.

The problem that Google is facing as a search engine company is one of "relevance." As people start looking for more current information and things that are more relevant to them, Google needs to step in and find a way to deliver content that people wouldn't otherwise discover through a typical search engine. This is where "social sharing" comes into place and can be used as a much stronger barometer for what's likely to have a stronger click-through percentage.

By creating a social layer on all of their products and creating a forum for people to share relevant things, they are able to catalog what people actually like on the web (think of the +1 button as a vetting system for content).

The main misconception is that Google is trying to out-do Facebook with a bigger, more powerful social network and that they are failing by not attracting people there. I think the truth behind the matter is that people are failing to realize how Google will revolutionize the web with this product.

Look at Apple computer, a COMPUTER company. When they first dipped into peripherals, they weren't too successful. However, after continuously improving their products, they found themselves holding a huge percentage of market share in MP3 players, smart phones and tablets. Last time I checked, those don't fall under the normal product line of a computer manufacturer. Now, of course, I'm not comparing Apples to apples here (heh), but I am trying to point out that just because Google started as a search engine company, doesn't mean they are doomed to be nothing but a search engine company. Remember, they don't make any money from search, they make money from ads…so realistically, they are an advertising company.

Lastly, I want to point out a very important statistic. By next year, 90% of all Internet traffic will be video, and the majority of individual-created video content resides on a website that started 5 years ago called YouTube. The problem with YouTube, before Google took over, was their small, off-the-beaten-path community. They didn't have a way to properly share and communicate. Well, with the fusion of YouTube, Google+ and YouTube Live, I think you are going to see a completely different experience in your living room where you might go from watching CSI Miami to a live stream of your cousin's wedding in Ireland one afternoon.

But then again, what I do know…

Embedded Link

Why Google+ Isn't Drawing the Masses (And Might Never Succeed) – MicroExplosion Media
If you want to see a social media marketer squirm in his or her seat just ask them about Google+. They'll squirm because like most of us they're not too sure what to make of it and are certain…

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