Google+: The new social network queen for companies?
The browser bets on an integration with its social platform that can usher in a new era for online search.
There is no doubt that with its more than 800 million users, Facebook today is queen of the social networks. But this reign may be coming to an end soon with Google+, the social network recently announced by Google that aims to dethrone the platform created by Mark Zuckerberg with a new concept that merges user-generated content with search and online sociability.
The browser bet is daring: its search tool is already, by and large, the undisputed leader on the web. Now it plans to add to its platform some social characteristics that allow users to see, for example, which Google+ contacts have clicked on a web page’s “+1” button.
The concept is simple. Let’s suppose you are looking for “Arabian food in Barcelona” on Google. You get the traditional search results, but you can also visualize on which pages your Google + contacts have clicked “+1.” So, having all the results, you will know which are recommended by your friends and those you trust when you choose where to go. There is an interaction between the search platform and online sociability tools that is practically unreachable for the social networks as we know them.
The future: social search
It is likely that not very far in the future Google+ will become the core of Google, that is, the browser will migrate toward an operation that bases most of its results on online sociability. In this context, those who are pioneers on Google+ and manage to position themselves on the new social network will earn competitive advantages and higher visibility. And, as all of us working in the online universe know, higher visibility on Google means sales.
For this reason, having a presence on Google+ is a fundamental tactic for companies, since they can actively participate with the tool through Google+ Pages. This platform allows organizations to have a public identity on the social network that, without a doubt, allows them to win positions on the browser and to access to a new type of social search.
However, to achieve all this, Google faces a challenge: it must obtain a critical mass of users on Google+ that will allow the interaction between sociability and search to become effective. When that happens, we will probably enter in a new internet era: “the social search.”
Being on Google +: being on the web
The unification of the browser and Google+ will be total. The company is working on a direct connection tool. With it, instead of looking for news on the entire web, Google will offer the option of limiting the search: just by typing “+” and the name of the company, the browser will take the user directly to the page. So if you are looking for new Pepsi products, perhaps it will be easier to type “+pepsi” than to surf the million results that the “pepsi” search will produce. If users acquire this habit, then companies will be obliged to have their own Google+ pages. Who will be willing to let users look for them and not find them on their favorite browser?