Google recently launched their +1 button, a new way to recommend people you know, pages or search results you think they should check out. As Google puts it: “Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval.”
So what is happening with this new +1? Basically Google wants to be more like his cool friend Facebook by adding new features to its already highly popular search engine. It is not old news that Google has been trying to be more social with its applications to the point that they actually failed when they introduced Google Wave.
Google Wave was a pretty darn good product that let their users share documents, videos, etc. and communicate, all in one place and at the same time. It was a very powerful collaborative machine I might add. It was designed for conversations and projects to have their own channels and history files broken down into 6 special topics: Blank wave, Discussions, Task tracking, Meeting, Document and Brainstorm.
Some people think that Google Wave was ahead of its time or that had too many features that people did not understand it and therefore, not value its full potential as a project management tool. Unfortunately, Google Wave will be part of past but will stay with us all throughout 2011.
Wikipedia describes it as “a social networking and messaging tool from Google that is integrated into the company’s web-based email program, Gmail.” In a nutshell, that is exactly what it is but what does it do? It lets you post your thoughts and share links, videos and pictures with your followers who in return will share back their interests. Think of it as a small Facebook window within Gmail, and the reason why they wanted it to be integrated with Gmail is simply because since Gmail users spend a considerable amount of time browsing through their mail each and every day, it made sense to keep them around every time users felt the urge to leave the site to share a video or a link on their favorite social network. Maybe, and most importantly, it needed to serve as another viewable source for those beloved Google ads.
Picasa, Blogger and other Google applications have served their purpose and survived their life cycles so does this give us a very positive indication that maybe, just maybe, Google +1 will survive? I for one “Like” the idea.
Google +1 will allow me to “like” a certain page which will be visible to my friends, family and the public all together. People will be able to see that I +1ed a page about Thai food and may click on that page rather than the suggested #1 position provided by Google which may have been a better source for their taste. Will this change search engine optimization? Will this add more layers to an internet marketing strategy for businesses? What type of analytics are we seeing here? Time will tell but something tells me not to hold my breath.
The Problem with Google
Google has relied on common sense when launching most of their applications. The common sense marketing strategy at Google is this: Build it and they will come. Google has so much confidence on their developers that think that whatever they build is just so out of this world and magical that there should be no one in this planet using any other application than the one they have just built. No marketing needed.
The problem with Google applications such as wave for example is that it wasn’t built to improve other applications but rather to live on its own. People need to be told who, where, when and how, especially when it comes to technology, before they embark on a new quest. The ideal situation would have been to add it to Gmail as a new version for businesses and slowly adapt to a new and smarter way to deal with conversations and projects as most of us in the internet marketing industry currently does. Google Buzz survived because of this very simple strategy and the only reason why they will never be able to compete with Facebook at the same level is because of the following:
- Branding: Public’s perception of the brand and its applications
- Personality: The ability to be versatile
- Business Model: Allowing applications to become their own entities and thus not seeing the big picture
Integration is going to be the key factor for many of the existing and future applications from Google and we only hope that +1 can soon catch on and win “1” finally.
SEO Project manager
Use this link http://www.google.com/experimental/ to experiment with this new idea from Google.