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Will Google+ Be a Game Changer for Businesses?

{complink 2294|Google} recently announced its newest entry into the social media arena with the launching of Google+. The beta release was limited to a small group of handpicked users. This is Google's newest attempt to compete with Facebook since the dismal failure of BUZZ.

Does this really matter to business? If you listen to the experts they'll tell you that you'd better pay attention. It is rumored that Google+ is just the beginning of a major shift in the way Google handles search.

Current search engines use key words, links, and other data to move information up to the top of the search page (using their magical and mysterious algorithms). With Google+ it makes sense that the search engine will tap into social media as one of the key metrics for moving up in the search. This means in the future, when somebody is looking for a company or product, the social aspects will be considered in the ranking on the search page.

I don't know exactly how this will work, but I can envision products', services', or companies' rankings being affected by negative or positive social media comments or reviews. I think this means that customer service will become even more important to companies. Bad comments or reviews by people in the social community have the potential of taking a company off the first page of online search.

The reason I think this is going to happen is that Google specifically has asked businesses to hold off for a business version of Google+. We will just have to wait and see how this all plays out, but in any case, be aware that it's coming. If you would like more information on Google+ check out the video at PC World.

18 comments on “Will Google+ Be a Game Changer for Businesses?

  1. AnalyzeThis
    July 11, 2011

    Al, I think I agree with you in that it's realistic to expect that search rankings could be positively or negatively affected by Google+ feedback. So potentially, yes, Google+ will be a game changer for businesses.

    But I think it's really too soon to put much thought into this as we're so early in the game. The “business version” isn't even here yet. And it remains to be seen if Google+ is going to go anywhere: you mention BUZZ, and I remember reading a ton of articles about Google Wave and how that was going to change all these things… and it essentially completely failed.

    So I'm just going to wait and see how things pan out.

  2. Houngbo_Hospice
    July 11, 2011

    Google+ is receiving positive reviews compared to BUZZ and Google Wave, that is why people are thinking that it could impact the business world one way or another.

    Even though Google+ is in a testing stage, businesses can surely start thinking about how to take advantage of it. 

     

  3. Anand
    July 11, 2011

    “Bad comments or reviews by people in the social community have the potential of taking a company off the first page of online search”

    I think this is a very good news for Social Networking sites in general because opinion on social networking site will directly get reflected in search results. This will definitely increase the valuation of FB which is planning for an IPO.

  4. Clairvoyant
    July 11, 2011

    I think Google+ will definitely have an impact on the way businesses show up in searches. Customer reviews and comments can have a large impact.

  5. Daniel
    July 12, 2011

    Al Maag, Search can be performed on the basis of any sort of algorithms. But I don’t think that’s the right way of sorting the results. From customer point of view, they have the option to find a search based on social aspects or public opinion. For one who, search for info about a company or product, such public opinion or review comes only second.

  6. saranyatil
    July 12, 2011

    Clairvoyant,

    Exactly customer reviews can change the situation upside down some times its so happens that they also creae hype which adds etc value.

  7. jbond
    July 12, 2011

    It is going to be interesting to see how quickly Google+ will climb up the ranks. Social media has become a very profitable playground for companies to take full advantage of. With another major player in the mix, there will be even more people companies can market to. I am a little leary as to how peoples opinions are going to come into play when doing a Google search. There are many people who give their opinions on things that they have no real knowledge of and this could skew the actual numbers of people who know what they are talking about.

  8. Barbara Jorgensen
    July 12, 2011

    Interesting concept and great points, Al. I agree buzz can make or break a product. But I also wonder how objective something like this will be. Worth watching…

  9. stochastic excursion
    July 12, 2011

    Being in the ratings business can lead to a lot of controversy for a website.  Google will probably take from the experience of Yelp, which has come under fire for using a proprietary scoring algorithm to keep business from “gaming the system.”

  10. DataCrunch
    July 12, 2011

    I am really impressed with the momentum that G+ is building.  I did get a chance to play around with it this weekend, and I have a good feeling about G+.  G+ seems to really be thought out well and could be the social platform of choice for the enterprise.  

    People are predicting very rapid and significant user growth for G+, including one predicting 20 million users by this weekend: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_plus_to_hit_20_million_users_by_the_weekend.php

  11. Ariella
    July 13, 2011

    That's a fairly high number, Dave. It owuld mean it would have had to have more than quadrupled in a single week, according to PC Mag's figures. See http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388325,00.asp The same article includes an updates for FB that now confirms 750 million users.

  12. t.alex
    July 13, 2011

    I do not have the chance to touch Google+. From the reviews i have read so far, it will be more or less another version of facebook. Might not be a game changer, but will dilute the market that facebook is dominating.

  13. Taimoor Zubar
    July 13, 2011

    I agree that Google+ will tend to make search more 'social' as it integrates social media aspects into search results. Apart from ranking the search results based on comments and 'likes' by people on Google+, I think the search engine will also rank the results based on the user's tastes and preferences. If the user is signed into his Google Account and is searching for something, the search engine knows a lot about user's background and his/her nature through Google+. It's likely the the search engine will use this information to show the results most relevant to the user.

  14. elctrnx_lyf
    July 13, 2011

    I agree with your opinion that this might dilute the market. But the user base of web is going up all the time and it will not be any wonder if Google+ actually see more number of users in the future.

  15. t.alex
    July 14, 2011

    TaimoorZ,

    This is a good point. Search will be brought up to another level whereby  it will be more personal to the taste. 

  16. Himanshugupta
    July 14, 2011

    I read that there are already 10m users on G+ but it is not surprizing as all the gmail users will automatically get G+ and hence the user count will easily go to 150m or so. But getting close to Facebook will be a challenge. I read news that Google is going easy with G+ in terms of making it open to all, Google will probably keep G+ under invitation only for a year or so and will work agressively to improve it. 

    I also got invitation for G+ and i am impressed with the simplistic design and addon features that are nonexistent on Facebook. 

  17. itguyphil
    July 17, 2011

    So, like in many circumstances, Google is using us as guinea pigs to strengthen its position…

  18. hwong
    July 21, 2011

    Whenever we talk about social media, I get anxious about the security issues. I have heard alot of horror stories how people can easily extract your personal information from varoius sources and put them all together to commit crimes. In fact, I have alot of friends who wouldn't put their pictures or their kids pictures on facebook.

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