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This a good article that gives a much different view of what most of the main stream tech media is saying these days. I see a lot of truth in it and it is always good to remember to spread out all your eggs in as many different baskets as possible.
I personally think that Google's focus has changed too much to the bottom line as their shareholders squeeze them to keep the money flowing. On my laptop I can not even see the colored background difference of their ads displayed at the top of the organic search.
It looks like the recent ComScore results support the above, http://www.seochat.com/c/a/Website-Promotion-Help/Is-Google-Plus-an...
Here are the results of the number of minutes spent on each of these social media sites per month:
Facebook: 405 minutes
Pinterest/Tumblr: 98 minutes
Twitter: 21 minutes
LinkedIn: 17 minutes
MySpace: 8 minutes
Google+: 3 minutes
WSJ calls Google Plus a Virtual Ghost-town
I would say it is still worth spending a bit of resources to stake out your claim on Google Plus but I would not spend more than half an hour a month on this site right now.
I'm a big fan of Michael Gray for his outspokenness in this space. Not sure if he really thinks that Google Plus is going away, but for two reasons it will not be: 1) Brand SEO extortion (if you are not in social at this level, you are about to be killed in organic) and 2) 25% of Google employees' bonuses are tied to the success of social. Follow the money...
Even if the concept looks like it won't work in the present form, the Google force is hard at work to earn that bonus, and it will continue to be in our lives at every search.
Thanks for sharing the article.
Hi Scott and thanks for the reply.
Google has trashed lots of failed products over the years so I am not sure success is guaranteed. And having all your employees desperately posting to a social network to get a bonus is probably not going to resonate well with the social community and is in-fact already receiving a bit of teasing online.
(if you are not in social at this level, you are about to be killed in organic)
Although I am, as are my clients in social, I don't fully agree with this statement for the simple fact that the social graph is just as easy to manipulate as the link graph has been. Maybe even easier. I see people all over the web bragging about buying x number of Google +'s or facebook likes for low cost. Google will probably continue to rely on web citations (backlinks and mentions) across the entire web for a long time to come.
Perhaps the thought of being killed organically did come through well...for my money it is currently a veiled threat of sorts, but I'm not sure that it won't be real soon as SPYW is very real and will get more traction as brands are forced to Google Plus.
And if your read tea leaves like I do, Google Places will go away in its current form and be replaced with Google Plus for Business. Then the organic ass kicking could take place for those not there or for those who are not actively adding employees and customers to the network to really influence results. You don't really even have to communicate or engage, just hold hands long distance. And as far buying social signals, with SPYW you don't need to if you work the real program even reasonably well. Google had no problem with click fraud on PPC for years, so I see no reason they won't turn the other way on social fraud for a while either. Watch for some really interesting stuff now that +one explodes into your Google Plus acct. (both on the legit front and fraud one).
Eventually, it's very possible the FTC or a new Senate Select Subcommittee gets involved and slows them down a bit, but the traction lost could be significant for those not looking out of the windshield on this ride. No rear view mirror needed on this dragster. Not yet. Keep posting info for us!