Google Plus, Social Search Number One!
Will Google’s flagrant preferential treatment of Google+ in its search results alienate users or bring on board more brands and businesses?
Google is the number one search engine in the world, available in a multitude of countries and a host of languages, if anyone has anything to promote online then it is the obvious starting point. However. Google is perfectly aware of how far reaching Google Search is. with the engine able to boast over 80 per cent of all searches made. Translate this into numbers and it means there are billions of users across the globe using its product – a scenario that is not so applicable to its social venture Google+. So what better way to promote an ailing service than via the world’s favourite search engine? No need to get the Google green light, it’s one of ours.
The very premise of Search plus Your World, as the integration is known, has been seen as nepotism by many, though obviously not by Google, and it hasn’t been well received in its first few months of operation. In fact, according to a poll on Mashabie around 63 per cent of voters didn’t want social search results.
Admittedly, on the surface.
… is still much the same search engine it’s always been with just a few added extras. But this simple analogy instantly reveals that, while users are still getting the results they want they are also getting results which are heavily weighted towards Google.
The lack of Twitter involvement is something that can’t be ignored. If users are getting results that do not include those from the world’s most popular microblogging service, surely the results are something of a lame duck? Twitter is still active in the search market giving over its tweet stack to Google’s rival Bmg. Will this see a significant shift towards Bing? It’s highly unlikely that Google has to worry about users defecting in their millions, but if this controversial issue begins to give advertisers pause for thought, then it could become a more major concern.
To emphasise the contention the US Federal Trade Commission is reportedly including Google in its antitrust probe of the search giant. However, no comment has been made by either side.
The flipside is that Google Search is still the dominant force, and for the time being this means Google will be the dominant social force. So perhaps now could be the time to stop doubting the network and embrace it getting ahead while the rest of the world dithers. So how does a company go about jumping aboard the Google+ platform?
The first step is to create a Google Brand page and make it relevant to the search terms people will be entering. With a page in place the next step is to create a content strategy. Aim to offer high-quality, engaging content on a daily basis and ensure it contains relevant search terms and themes desirable to the target audience. Finally, check out competitors and take note of any successful strategies.
There’s no doubt that social search is an inevitable step for the world of web searching in general. However, with Google shamelessly promoting its own product, will users finally say they have had enough? In Web Designer’s opinion, probably not. The competition – read: Bing. MSN and Yahoo! – still falls far short of public demand. While users may not like Google’s self-promotion, most will learn to live with it – that is. if they even noticed it in the first place.