Google Is Brilliant, Not Stupid (Or Evil)
Maybe you have heard a ruckus over the last few days, Google has added 'social search' to Google search. Twitter is unhappy, Facebook won't comment and the blog war has begun in earnest.
Let me address the obvious; this was Google's plan from the beginning. Why is Facebook awesome (leave it alone, move on and let me make my point) - Facebook is awesome because among other things it is a recommendation engine. I put a link on my wall and my friends check it out, pretty simple and extremely powerful. Whether it is voting, buying shoes, watching a movie, getting directions, travel advice, you name it, and Facebook somewhere has advised one friend with the opinion of someone they trust. Awesome.
Now imagine that you Googled something and the results included recommendations from your friends. I bet those links get clicked more, don't you? Google makes money from people clicking on links (in case you are not from around here). Now they have made a way for links to be 'trustworthy' not just well placed and blue. Awesome. For them. And us, I suppose.
But what's that you say, Google Plus only has a fraction of the users that Facebook or even Twitter has, and so the results are not going to be that great. True, for now. But Google is smart and I think brilliant.
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They are smart because Google recognized (or was forced to concede) that 'social' was not going anywhere, and that it was actually the key ingredient to their magic sauce and revenue stream, advertising. So Google persisted with 'social' and boy did they fail, but then they didn't. Hello Google Plus. It is not perfect, but it is pretty damn good too, and it will only get better, for reasons I have already written about. So Google is onboard with social, but it was still only the Apple TV of Google, a 'hobby', until this week. It just went big time. As an aside, Siri is going to do the same with Apple's hobby too, but that is for another blog post. Google has turned its 'hobby' into a 'value add' to its legion of advertisers, smart.