21 Replies to “Why You Should Care About Twitter vs. Google+”

  1. Search Plus makes me feel like a fool for ever thinking Google would Not Be Evil. When I put my MBA hat on, I completely understand the move–they are obligated to make the most money they can. But when I put my user hat on, I see how I’m now being thrust right back into a web that’s stacked.

    This is bound to open the door for competitors. For one thing, it’s fairly obviously a monopolistic practice. The EU in particular will start looking at everything Google’s doing. In that sense–more competition–I’m glad to see it. I’m already making conscious efforts to use other engines again. We’ll probably also see some alliances being made and some partnerships being deepened (Facebook and Skype seem ripe).

    Search vs. ads has been a paradox for Google since they reinvented advertising. This is it coming to a head. In the long run, my bet is Google is violating its own DNA and will start to decline because of it, but perhaps its better genes will make it.

    All that said, no doubt, as you say, everyone who needs to make money will now have to be on Google Plus in a big way for the foreseeable future. I tend to think people prefer choices of the heart (e.g., Apple) vs. no other choice (Microsoft), but in terms of just making money today, you have to hand it to Google (literally).

    You always get me thinking, Geoff. Thanks!

  2. Search Plus makes me feel like a fool for ever thinking Google would Not Be Evil. When I put my MBA hat on, I completely understand the move–they are obligated to make the most money they can. But when I put my user hat on, I see how I’m now being thrust right back into a web that’s stacked.

    This is bound to open the door for competitors. For one thing, it’s fairly obviously a monopolistic practice. The EU in particular will start looking at everything Google’s doing. In that sense–more competition–I’m glad to see it. I’m already making conscious efforts to use other engines again. We’ll probably also see some alliances being made and some partnerships being deepened (Facebook and Skype seem ripe).

    Search vs. ads has been a paradox for Google since they reinvented advertising. This is it coming to a head. In the long run, my bet is Google is violating its own DNA and will start to decline because of it, but perhaps its better genes will make it.

    All that said, no doubt, as you say, everyone who needs to make money will now have to be on Google Plus in a big way for the foreseeable future. I tend to think people prefer choices of the heart (e.g., Apple) vs. no other choice (Microsoft), but in terms of just making money today, you have to hand it to Google (literally).

    You always get me thinking, Geoff. Thanks!

    1. I think Google sees social incorporation as a must have for its future, not just having a socnet, but for relevant search.  So they have doubled down, so to speak.  I am sure Google is betting the house on this.

      I am working on the double comment thing. Sorry, Disqus is not playing nice!

  3. I’m still very much on the fence about this. I can see Twitter’s point, but I can see Google’s too. It also seems a good way to drive more meaningful, strategic connections on g+ and other social networks. Curate a strong personal network, reap big rewards when you search. 

    I do have concerns about Google doing what’s best for Google over what’s best for society in this case (it will be harder to find breaking news through Google search, now), but my biggest complaint at this point is the physical implementation. Why put Plus results at the top of the list when the right half of the screen is all but blank? Why not a 2-column approach, with the usual, strong Google search results on the left, and Plus results (or a call to action to sign up) on the right? 

    1. Yeah, I am sure Google sees this as a must for its future.  They have banked and integrated everything on this working.  Plus results are metza metza at this point. I hope they are sincere on letting another socnet into the mix, and if so, I hope Twitter gets wise.

  4. “…people feel drained…” — yes! But I agree it can’t be ignored for the reasons you state, and Google is is not breaking any laws (at least thiose on the books..:)).

  5. When I do a Google search, half the point is to find sites based on the consensus of the whole Internet, not my self-selected social circle. If I want to know what my friends think is the most useful site for a given search string, I’ll straight-up ask them.

  6. This is an excellent and thought-provoking essay, Geoff. I’ve been looking at Google+ from an individual’s eyes for most of the past few months, but these changes in search have got me thinking a lot more from the corporate/marketing angle. I wonder how many institutions will pull resources from Twitter, Facebook, et al. to focus on their Google+ pages and the SERP rewards they may reap?

  7. Agree with WR. Very smart post. You do always make us think. One question and a couple points:

    1) +1’s don’t force me to think about using G+, right? I see how the conversation within the social network is now impacting search, so I get how that could drive me/my brand to consider increasing the amount of participation within G+. But +1’s live outside G+ too (e.g. blogs) and I don’t need to participate in the socnet to create search relevancy through that plugin, IMO. Does that make sense? Just wanting to clarify and make sure I’m not missing anything.

    2) I think we have a battle here between the fact that people feel drained on time and the relevancy of this development to a brand’s search strategy. Facebook may not be indexed, but it will have 1 billion users by year’s end if not sooner. So the social indexing going on there is something brands can’t ignore either. My guess is that Facebook and Twitter open themselves up to indexing in 2012, which probably helps Google in the long run anwyay. Because people really do want the most complete search results possible. As a consultant, the question is how much do you push your clients to G+ when they may just now be starting to understand the benefits of Facebook or Twitter? By the time you get them to understand G+, FB and Twitter may already have opened up.

    3) I have not been a fanboy of G+. I see too many brands that don’t use what they have — FB, Twitter, blog — the right way. This is the first post that has made me consider rethinking my position. But I am still hesitant. Yesterday, I would have advised a client that they don’t need to dedicate any time to G+ other than setting up a brand page for search. Today, I might say, let’s take 5% of the time you dedicate to SM and reallocate for a bit of G+ test and learn. But I won’t be writing a book on the topic anytime soon :). Good stuff, GL. Cheers!

    1. Justin:  I think your migration toward getting +1s, links, and commentary embedded into Google is right on.  I don’t care who is shown with my content in search, so long as my content is sourced.  So I just want my pages to land in the top ten. Now, one way to do that is to be a conversationalist and have your links commented on in your own stream, but I think both you and I subscribe to more an anti-hero networked approach to getting things done.

      Thanks for the compliment!

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