Et Tu, Google? …

Et Tu, Google? Will Search + Mean the Rise of Google + or the Rise of Bing?

Catching up on the latest changes to the search process from Google this week. If you need a recap read Danny Sullivan’s take here. The CMO Site has an excellent discussion on what this might mean for marketers, including some good comments on how this might play out. The net:

>Search + will add relevant links from your Circles to your search results. Allegedly this is a good thing.

I have written previously about how I feel about Google+ chances and, despite all the “Buzz” my opinion hasn’t changed. And in fact, this just makes it worse.

Right now, Google + is not terribly well used, despite some interesting features, an expensive TV campaign, and the relentless shilling by some of the web’s most followed intelligentsia (Exhibit A: Chris Brogan)

Based on my admittedly limited sample of the comments around the new Search + feature, we are about to see a rush of marketers on to Google + with the sole goal of trying to manipulate their followings to ensure they remain relevant in key search results.

Huge windfall for Google + right? Wrong.

Given the relatively low market saturation as compared to Facebook and Twitter, and even LinkedIn (which everyone seems to conveniently forget) Google + runs the risk of creating an alternative social universe dominated by brands attempting to drive a conversation and game the results. Given the overall footprint of Google + today, it really won’t take much. This will have two substantial impacts:

  1. New users will be turned off based on the view that: “that just where the marketing peopled hang out to promote their stuff” (As Second Life was to Porn?)
  2. Search results/effectiveness will suffer because the value of those top page results will decline

And if #2 happens, as a marketer, I am no longer going to pay big money to ensure Page One Adwords results. (impact #3)

And if both #2 and #3 happen, doesn’t that create a window for Bing and Facebook and Twitter to tie up to do something similar, but with an actual community—and for Bing to REALLY steal share from Google?

Now THAT would be something!

@ajdun

Interested in what this means for Content marketing and web content management? Read my post on Percussion.com here. 

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