Google Plus is about a month old now and with its spectacular growth, it’s been the subject of countless conversations among individuals and businesses alike. Typically, these discussions approach the social platform’s development in many different ways, so I thought I’d take a shot at distilling down the related side stories and make a quick comment on each.
Google Plus’ Incredible Growth
The growth of Google Plus has been unprecedented, but it’s like comparing an apple and an orange. Facebook began as a small network for college students and Twitter was simply a communication platform that caught fire at 2007’s South by Southwest conference, not a gigantic strategic push by one of the most successful internet companies ever. If Google didn’t achieve this phenomenal growth, then something would be truly wrong.
Google vs. Facebook
Google has been losing market share to Facebook for sometime, so this recurrent story line seems to pop up on a regular basis. Google is still considered the premier player and the Clash of the Titans story line is just too juicy for many to let it be. Google Plus is simply the newest Facebook Killer. Enough already, this storyline is getting tired…
The Effect on Search Engine Rankings
Arguably one of the biggest reasons for online marketers to adopt and use Google Plus is its potential effect on search engine rankings. Yes this could be really big but we’re only a month in and it’s still unclear how this nascent social platform might affect rankings. Therefore I don’t care how respected some of the industry experts talking about how participation in Google Plus can improve optimization, it’s still a guess.
Google vs. Itself
Despite its history of incredible innovation and success, Google has not been able to crack the secret to a successful social media platform. Google Wave and Google Buzz never gained traction and were considered big failures. Google Plus is simply the next installment in Google’s pursuit of social. So for the haters, it offers something else to rail against. For the fanboys, it’s something to gush over. I’m neither; but so far, it appears that Google may be making lemonade from its earlier failures.
Google Plus for Business
Social Media Marketing has proven to be a boon for some businesses, a bust for others and in my opinion Google Plus is another new shiny thing for online marketers to babble about. It’s too early for anyone to have anything substantive to say, but that won’t stop people from trying.
One recent post suggested that a 3% drop in traffic calls into question the health of the nascent service. Really?! You’d make better use of your time watching Dr. Phil.
Google’s Overall Strategy
There are so many moving parts to the Google monster that it’s pretty tough to figure out whether it’s all a well orchestrated plan, or a chaotic free for all. One thing for sure is that Google is committed to making Google Plus succeed and that’s a pretty powerful clue about the direction of the company. My guess is that it will be integrated throughout products like Places to focus on local search. Regardless I find this Google Plus storyline among the most interesting and compelling.
In closing, it’s been interesting to watch Google Plus and all of the side stories that it’s spawned. Certainly we’ll have a much better idea of how successful the platform will be and where it will be in the coming months. Unfortunately, we need to be patient and that’s not my strong suit.