It’s alright if you are; I had to scour the blogosphere to figure out what the devil was so special about Google+, other than the fact that it is operated by my favorite company and is a major threat to the arrogance of Facebook. But I’m going to break it down for you right here so that you don’t have to comb the interwebs in search of it.
Since as far back as I can remember (somewhere in the 2003 range) there have been two successful approaches to marketing on the internet: search engine optimization and social networking. Google is a search engine king now (successfully) entering the realm of social media, fusing the two together forever as one. It’s really quite romantic if you think about it.
It all started last year, when Google introduced social search. Before it, everyone got pretty much the same results. After making an adjustment to the algorithm, the rankings started taking your social networks into account when populating results. The links you see are now affected by what the people in your networks have shared, what’s near you, and what you’ve searched in the past. Results have transformed from a baggy one-size-fits-all style to a personalized ensemble that fits you like a glove.
Then came the +1 button. Did you notice that little guy’s been hanging out next to each listing for the past few months? That’s another tweak to the algorithm which essentially allows you to cast a vote for a page to receive top listings. That’s right, Google cares about your opinion.
So far I’ve seen everyone comparing Google+ to Facebook and Twitter, but everyone seems to have missed the fact that it was the social bookmarking sites like Digg and Reddit that did this first. Pages gain popularity based on their ratings for users, which is how a lot of those ridiculous, hilarious videos you’ve seen snowballed into popularity. Google has integrated that system into a whole mess of technology, and is now bringing it all together in the network that everyone’s clamoring to join.
And that’s the other beauty of Google: it has an entire arsenal of virtual weapons with which that scoundrel Facebook simply can’t compete. Videos, maps, now music and soon games, translators, calculators, oh and not to mention the search function, and everything else amazing about Google makes it the one-stop shop on the internet with the last piece of the puzzle in place.
All this is from the consumer standpoint, but it may have even greater ramifications in the business world, as AdWords and Analytics will be much more specific and detailed, allowing companies to get a more specific idea of where the interests and impulses of their consumers lie.
Yep, before you know it, OMG will stand for Oh My Google.