Google+ is the big news. It is what everyone is talking about. Just Google it, if you don't believe me. Check out the reviews. Hear what the pundits have to say. Try to wangle an invitation. Decide if it is a Facebook killer. You have fun with that. This is not a post about Google+, because I don't care about any of that. This is a post about Google, because what you really need to know is staring you in the face. Everything else is just horse race reporting.

Here is the big news (and this has been true for years, not just today): Google will not stop until it has a presence in social media that it is happy with, or it runs out of money. So, we can make fun of Google Wave and Google Buzz. Perhaps Google+ will become the butt of new jokes. Or maybe it will emerge as something credible in social media, just as Google owns Android, Blogger, and YouTube. Perhaps, as with those successful properties, Google will eventually have to acquire someone to succeed in social media.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

You don't care.

What you do care about is this: Google has enough money to wage this battle for a very long time. They might or might not win, but don't count them out. Look at how Microsoft refused to give up on mobile phones, Web apps, and Web search engines and on lots of other areas. They are still not the leader in those areas, but they are a contender. And they have the money to stay in that game for the foreseeable future.

So, definitely take a look at Google+ and see what you think. But if you think it is crap and should be ignored, and even if everyone thinks it should be ignored, don't make the mistake of ignoring Google. I've heard many pundits declare this race over. Facebook has won. Don't bet on it.

It's not to say that Facebook won't be a big winner here, but understand that there is room for many winners in social media. Google has many times the resources of Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media winners. Google has substantial advantages in social media, even if it has not yet delivered a credible social network.

And the biggest thing of all we constantly forget. Social media doesn't stand still. Whether it is Foursquare, Groupon, or something no one is talking about yet, there are many more ideas to play out in social media. Don't be surprised if Google wins one of them.

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June 30, 2011

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


"Google has enough money to wage this battle for a very long time."

You make a very good point. Personally, I don't think Google+ will be a strong competitor for Facebook, but Google has the cash and the manpower to keep at it for as long as they want. If they want to fight for social dominance, that's their prerogative.

It's always a changing landscape on the web, so the future could be a different winner, but it's hands down Facebook right now I they aren't going to go the way of Myspace.

"they aren't going to go the way of Myspace"

That is what Myspace thought. People are fickle and really don't have allegiance to anything. So a better "mouse trap" can turn competitors into "MySpace"

Competition is good it keeps the in players on their toes. As long as they don't rest on their laurels and continue to listen they probably won't go the way of Myspace.

cd :O)

If only all it took were cash. The missing ingredient with Google's social media excursions is soul. They have no passion for it. It's just a function of business for them.

So, I will be very surprised if they succeed one day.

You could be right, Jay, but what do you make of YouTube? It is clearly on of the top five most successful social media sites, so how do we score Google on that one? Do we say that they proved that they can succeed with only cash because they bought it? Or do we say that they have some of that soul because they have grown it so many times since they bought it?

Either way, it is hard to say that Google did not succeed with it. And I think they will keep trying for more successes. Many companies would be thrilled to have the kind of success that YouTube is, but Google is not satisfied, so stay tuned.

Google will surely win something in social media, users r getting onto social media to impove their google rankings, if googles own social media has an influence on the search results, every business will get on it.

I tend to agree with Lauren, Google will ultimately win! More and more people(especially seos) are using social media to rank on Google and Google is (understandably) capitalizing on it!

You bring up some great points in your article. Google is already at the top and I don't see them going anywhere anytime soon. I agree with the comments above which suggest that it might someday die out like myspace etc but for now they seem to be pretty strong. Money always helps too obviously.

Sort of off topic too but anybody remember altavista? haha

I believe that the real issue here is not whether the new google+ will be a big success or not. In my opinion the real issue is whether Google is going to give google+ a big place in their search engine algorithm.

Hi everybody!
I agree with Joe. Google+ won't beat Facebook, but it is not supposed to! Google will achieve its goals by algorithm changes which will promote Google+ use. If this is not satisfactory enough, with its resources, as Mike mentioned, Google can anyway buy itself satisfactory presence in the social media.

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