Google Inc. is adding a new twist to their search engines. Attempting to rival Facebook and other social media sites, Google is now forced to re-think strategy in a rapid-changing web industry that has been shaken up by more youthful rivals such as Facebook and Twitter. Those companies have gotten people to publicly and privately share information on the web, including their favorite articles, videos, personal interests and random whereabouts, and redefine how people discover news articles or get advice on where to shop or what to buy.
Google’s answer? The social search effort coined ‘+1’ or ‘plus 1’ has the potential to change the way individuals search on Google’s site. Google has always relied on it’s ten year old algorithm that is the ‘magic’ behind it’s search engine but with the advent of ‘plus 1’ that algorithm has a chance of becoming not nearly as useful for Google. Simply put, the ‘plus 1’ button is just Google’s version of the ‘like’ button similar to Facebook’s. This will allow the user to make his/her decisions based on their friend’s suggestions as whether or not they liked the website or the results of the search. The point of this whole experiment is to compete with Facebook and other social media sites while truly giving the user a unique and authentic search experience. Facebook in particular, with more than 600 million users worldwide, has amassed a wealth of personal information about members and now has a multibillion-dollar advertising business that lets marketers pinpoint specific demographic groups. Google wants a piece of this pie to gain more ‘useful’ information regarding the consumer so they can leverage that information to advertisers. This has the potential to be groundbreaking because search results will now be customized and tailored specifically to you. The problem is that Facebook has it’s own plans of launching a ‘social search engine’ and they are the company with the most useful information regarding consumers. It should be real interesting to watch this play out. Either way, it is this author’s opinion that Google will be just fine.
Filed under: Social Media Marketing