Google+ are forcing themselves on us
Google+ (Search Plus Your World) is over a year into its life and most of us are still wondering exactly where it’s positioned in the market. Google are notoriously anti-competitive and as a publisher, it kind of feels like we’re being bullied into finding a use for it as a service. This is an ironic twist for me as I commented earlier last year that it was social media commentators picking on the search giants 19th foray into the social space.
Larry Page believes that 60% of Google+ users are active. Vic Gundtora took a slightly different slant saying that 60% of Google+ users login to use a Google service each week. Come on guys, that’s pretty weak. Logging into my Gmail does not make me a G+ evangelist. I also think Google is ramping up its statistics by forcing publishers to use its platform because of the expanded listings functionality.
The idea that you now have to verify your blog or site via Google+ is pretty mainstream. Then you verify your publishers against the platform so when searching for content, a pretty box appears with an image of the author. This has served two purposes for me as a publisher.
1) I actually login to Google+ every day to plus one my articles
2) I then login to my brand page and share it on there every day for the expanded listings in the side bar.
As far as I know, so far, there is not API plugin for seeding content automatically, so hundreds of thousands of publishers are forced to login against their freewill every day to make sure their articles look pretty in SERPS. Is that not gaming the system a bit? Is that not bumping up the figures artificially with an SEO gun held to publishers’ heads?
It’s not just Google doing stuff like this to present a story of success to the world. Facebook is doing the same. They’re now punishing publisher’s edge rank if they share stories via a third party platform. There are over 16,000,000 fan pages, if I couldn’t use a third part application to share content, I’d sure as hell be spending more than the average amount of minutes on the site a day seeding content.
I guess the point to this post is that Google are going to pull every trick in the book to make Google+ work. It’s not about creating a product we need or want to engage with; it’s about ego and it’s about forcing us to love something that doesn’t really offer any benefits the other social sites don’t. Where is the innovation? Where is the killer functionality? How can a company that has some of the finest minds in the planet working for it not give us something that has no benefit other than a pretty image next to your name when you publish a story?
Maybe being super intelligent comes at a cost when it comes to social skills. There’s a thought to ponder.