Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So Is Google +1 going to work? History tells us it might not

Now, I’m a fairly obvious ‘power user’ of Google (as I run a digital consultancy that has an online marketing & SEO division) and have my Google Profile all set up and current… in fact I think I have a couple…. a personal Google account and an Ideal Interface one. So I’m not really your typical user out here, e.g. the person who may not have done this and may even know what a Google Profile is. So I therefore question the usefulness of this function and actually wonder how popular the +1 feature will be.

Hopefully this foray into Social Media for Google isn't as half-hearted as their earlier attempts.

1. Google Buzz hasn't really gained traction in a market already use to Twitter (perhaps because people were upset by its stealth launch into their Google Mail account rather than being something they requested)

2. Google Wave was touted as the successor to email, but turned out to unusable by many as a collaborative place to work and produce rich documents (however, that's not to say that it will have its day eventually, perhaps when people are more used to working in that way).

Only last week the ex-CEO Eric Schmidt accepted that he’d missed out on "the friend thing"…. which is not only a complete simplification of how social networks, it also gives us some idea of just how the search great generally views social media – e.g. it’s a thing to do, rather than a way to connect and even add value to search results.

Put simply, I’m not convinced that Google still gets Social Media and sharing completely. If you want an example of just how little the Google +1 feature is integrated into the rest of the Google product set, consider how useful it would have been to have added a “+1” button into Google’s blogging platform (Blogspot) and how beneficial this would have been to the legions of bloggers who are so dependent on referrals from any source….. That’s really not something Facebook would have missed and perhaps why they lead the social media league table.
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