As the Facebook movement gathers velocity, Google.com are showing real commitment to answering their critics in this area.
Google.com will be launching a button that will endorse or recommend a website. If you have a Google account then you will be able to see what other friends have ‘+1’ed’ a website. As Google’s huge selling point is their high quality search results, this is probably the single best social media advancement that Google have made to date.
From an SEO point of view, this raises many questions. Within the ‘social signal’ area of the Google algorithm development will they favour their own product in comparison to retweets or likes? Directionally, does this mean that if Google are successful in this space that organic and paid CTRs could suffer?
It is clear that as we are in a time of huge change in the digital space that Google are willing to make bold steps to go head to head with Facebook – but then the question I would ask it ‘does the consumer want a search engine to be a social network’?
Many email providers have gone down this route, some more successful than others. Yahoo groups is a great example of adding value to communities – but then for every good example there’s at least 2 bad ones where someone is asked to enhance a profile that they simply don’t want to.
Can Google go all social? We will wait and see!