Google is one of the worlds most visited websites but its not a site that people spend a lot of time on because it serves more of a utilitarian need. Recently, Google has been trying to integrate social aspects into it’s search results to compete with Facebook and Yahoo for ad revenue and it will be interesting to see if this catches on. First they introduced Google Social Search that gives you the option to filter search queries through your social networks to see links that your friends have shared or produced themselves. This is a pretty cool idea in theory but it could also end up clogging your search results with unwanted sites.
Last week, Google announced a new recommendation feature that they would be adding to their search queries called Google +1. It is meant to serve the same purpose as the Facebook Like feature and hopefully increase the effectiveness of their online ads and relevancy to each individual consumer. It will be slowly implemented over the coming weeks and months but if you’d like, you can be a part of the Google +1 Experiment. When you +1 a product/ad/link, your name will be associated with that link and will show up in the feed of your Google profile. They will also attempt to implement Google +1 directly into websites much like Facebook with its Like buttons installed on 2 million+ websites.
Currently, Google is in 3rd place behind Facebook and Yahoo! for total revenue but this is something they hope to change with the +1 feature. Because these companies make most of their profit off of ad revenue, it is important that they make it relevant to the consumer. Facebook is so far ahead of Google because they have access to a wealth of user-submitted information, whereas Google has to rely on cookies that track our browsing behavior.
Another reason Facebook advertising is so effective is because they are 500 million+ users strong. In order to use the +1 feature, you would be required to make a Google Profile; a clever way to get more people to sign up for the service.
It would be rather effective from a marketing standpoint because word-of-mouth has a better affect on individual influence than any ad campaign you could produce. I’d trust one of my friends over a commercial or magazine ad any day and the +1 feature will provide that type of feedback.
If this feature is a success, it will further contribute to marketing transparency and individual brands responsibility/accountability in advertising. Brands with higher +1 scores will have to pay less for advertising but will have higher accountability than brands with low +1 scores.
Give me some feedback on this… Do you think it will harm or help our search queries?
Here is a little video about Google +1: