Two Reasons that +1 Will End Up Next to Buzz in the Google Social Media Graveyard
Note: This is the opinion of Highly Relevant, an Internet Marketing Company in Los Angeles.
Anytime Google launches a new service, the Internet is alive with speculation on how it will affect SEO and the Internet in general.
I want to be the first to predict that the new “+1” feature will be another failure for Google in the “social space” because of two fundamental problems:
Problem #1: Launch Strategy
The first issue is the launch strategy. Since the “+1” button for websites will not be available for several “months not weeks”, users are left to “+1” content in search results.
I cannot remember a time when I thought to myself, “That is a fantastic Meta description. I like this site already!” Do they really expect me to return to the search results after making that decision to show my approval?
I don’t think so. Something else interesting has already popped up on Twitter or another one of my social networks, and I am on my way over there.
People do not have that kind of Internet attention span. In the months that it takes to get the +1 button out to webmasters, the Google social “haters” (apparently myself included) will be piling on about another colossal social failure by Google, making the release of the button much less significant.
In the meantime, every SEO in the world will be creating hundreds of Google accounts and “+1-ing” all of their clients. (In fact, that might be a good short-term business opportunity. Is there part of the algorithm that accounts for reciprocal “+1-ing”?)
Problem #2: The Fundamental Reason Google Cannot Do Social
The second reason that +1 is doomed to fail is that, fundamentally, Google cannot do social. From their blog post announcing the new feature…
“When you do a search, you may now see a +1 from your slalom-skiing aunt next to the result for a lodge in the area. Or if you’re looking for a new pasta recipe, we’ll show you +1’s from your culinary genius college roommate.”
The problem is that I’m not connected to my slalom-skiing aunt or my culinary genius college roommate on Gmail. I’m connected to them on Facebook.
Email is not “social” anymore. It is for business. The people that I am connected to on Gmail are my co-workers and clients, and they do not necessarily provide the same value of “liking” information that my friends on Facebook would.
Conclusion: Time to Let It Go
Look guys, Apple couldn’t even pull it off. The new “social” is not going to come from a corporation. It will come from a bunch of college kids eating Ramen with the audacity to turn down the millions that you, Facebook, Myspace, and everyone else will throw at them simply because they are crazy enough to believe that they can change the world.
Until then, Google, you need to keep working on Facebook to get a similar deal as Bing, and keep working on cars that drive themselves. That’s what we really want from you. (Just please let me know next time you are in LA. The human drivers around here are scary enough.)
Too harsh on launch day? Maybe. I am ready to eat my words, but I have history on my side.