Google+ remains a hot topic. Everybody’s talking about it—SEO experts, social media experts, web pundits, and technology writers are all speculating about what Google’s plan is with Google+. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle of all the different opinions, but we’re looking at it mostly from an SEO standpoint.
Google has always claimed that their mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Anything they do has to be filtered through that mission statement, as they have shown time and again that this is their core value. How does creating a social network make the world’s information universally accessible and useful? “Useful” is the key word, here.
Google realizes that the value of Twitter and other social networks is in personal recommendations and connections. While they do have access to Twitter’s “firehose” of information, they don’t own it. Better to have their own network of social signals. They knew that if they built a good social product (and they’ve tried and failed in the past), they would start having excellent and useful data to enhance their core product: Search.
The fact that Google was persistent in attempting to break into social shows how important it is to them. Finally, Google+ is the one that just might make it. According to some reports, they are rapidly approaching the 20 million user mark. That’s certainly enough data to help make search results more useful. There are many people criticizing the “geekiness” of Google+, saying it’s not a thing their mom or dad would use; if Google is trying to get tech-savvy geeks to link to things and share relevant data on Google+, though, that’s not a problem for them at all.
In order for Google+ to truly become a “Facebook killer” it will have to become an ingrained habit—part of a daily normal lifestyle; with Android, Google has a shot at this. However, even if they don’t ever achieve Facebook Huge status, they can still mine the incredibly relevant and useful patterns and data from their techie userbase to influence their most precious product: search.