Social Media

Is Google+ the Unwanted of the Social Networking World

image0014 637x334 Is Google+ the Unwanted of the Social Networking World

Google+ has been around for almost a year now and – shockingly enough – despite industry professionals rambling on and on about how “intuitive” and “user-friendly” the platform is, it has yet to make even the smallest dent in social networking stranglehold controlled by Facebook and Twitter.

But although the fledgling network’s only users are tech geeks and Google fanboys, that hasn’t stopped SEO experts from rolling out article after article about how important “social shares” on Google’s new social network are.

Well, I call bulls**t!

Here’s why Google+ doesn’t matter – and isn’t going to matter – from an SEO perspective any time soon…

Reason #1 – No one *wants* to participate in another social network

I don’t know about you, but right now, it’s as much as I can handle just to stay on top of my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  With conventional social media wisdom suggesting that I need to regularly post content, engage with my followers and connect with industry thought leaders in order to be effective on these sites, I’m going to need to see a pretty significant benefit to duplicating these efforts across yet another social network before I’m willing to put my time and energy Google+.

Unfortunately, Google+ doesn’t offer this compelling reason to participate!

Sure, some people say it’s a “better organized” Facebook – but I don’t need another Facebook.  I already have a Facebook account that I’ve spend years growing and developing.  My content is there and my audience is there – and from the looks of things, these followers aren’t in any big hurry to move to yet another social network either.  A quick Google search for the phrase “social network burnout” clearly demonstrates that I’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed by the number of sites you’re supposed to participate on.

Really, the only reason to invest time in building a Google+ presence is to increase your chances of earning higher ranks through personalized SERPs, but even that has some serious weaknesses…

Reason #2 – No one *wants* personalized results

Despite how insistent Google is on shoving social/search integrations down our throats, personalized SERPs aren’t any more useful than traditional SERPs – in fact, sometimes they’re much *less* useful.  Really, if I wanted to hear what my friends were talking about, I’d ask them!

I come to Google because I trust their algorithms to provide better results than the other search engines on the market today.  And I trust that they’re carefully parsing through thousands of potential results in order to determine which specific piece of information will best suit my needs.  Do you think my buddy put as much thought into his recommendation?  No?  Well why, then, are his “liked” pages bumping Google’s carefully curated third-party results off the front page of the SERPs?

The replacement of traditional SERP results with personalized recommendations also turns into a pretty major issue when you recognize that the audience found on Google+ is almost exclusively male.  While that isn’t an issue for an emerging social network, it becomes a big deal when you try to shoehorn user perspectives into shaping the world’s largest search engine’s results.

This isn’t the 1920s – there’s no excuse to have women’s voices so thoroughly underrepresented, especially when doing so seriously devalues the integrity of Google’s search results.  Sure, the tech SERPs might be even stronger as a result of significant Google+ participation within this sector, but the results provided in female-dominated niches like fashion and apparel will suffer as a result of this missing perspective.

Reason #3 – No one *wants* constant Google integrations

But while these two issues are mere frustrations that complicate the Google experience, the final nail in the Google+ coffin is the increasing encroachment of Google services where they have no business being.

With the launch of Google+, it seems that the web’s largest search engine has forgotten both its primary service offering (search) and its mission (“Don’t be evil).  As an example, consider the case study put forward by Chris Crum on Web Pro News, showcasing how Google’s latest Search Plus Your World update prioritizes Google properties at the expense of results quality:

image0021 637x423 Is Google+ the Unwanted of the Social Networking World

Do you really think that someone searching Google for “Mark Zuckerberg” was looking for the Facebook titan’s unused Google+ profile??  I didn’t think so either…

So if these extensive integrations don’t serve the user, what’s the point in rolling out frustrating update after frustrating update (I’m looking at you, integrated privacy policies, “+1” button, Search Plus Your World and others)?

I believe the bottom line is this…  With the digital world moving away from traditional search and towards highly-specific apps for managing different facets of life, Google needs access to your personal data – and it needs it now.

In a fascinating article on Gizmodo, tech writer Mat Honan laid out the following case for Google’s recent social integrations push:

The Internet is the world’s greatest collection of knowledge, but increasingly, that wisdom lives in walled off apps. It lives in services and platforms. Places where we build up relationships, express preferences, and reveal so much about ourselves. We’re on Foursquare and Netflix and Facebook and Twitter and Skype. We’re interacting in real time, and in ways that don’t lend themselves well to indexing. Google can’t know exactly what’s going on in all those places. How the links between entities work. What and who we like and dislike. There is information there that it can’t index. And if it can’t index it, or understand it, it damn sure can’t serve an ad.

Odds are, Google’s hit a wall in terms of the amount of revenue it can generate through Adwords and Adsense.  While this potential income may grow slightly as new websites come online, the search giant likely feels threatened by the targeted user data and profile matching available to advertisers using Facebook’s ad platform, who can narrow down groups of users by location, interest and dozens of other factors.

If Google wants to earn more money through advertising, it needs to sell better data to its advertisers – and to do that, it needs you to share significantly more about yourself on Google properties.

That’s why Google+ was rolled out wayyyyyy before it should have been.  Maybe, with a year or two of testing (the way the company has handled past beta launches of proposed social sites) and significantly more user adoption, the platform could have been used to successfully augment the SERPs in a meaningful way AND allow the company to increase ad revenue through the deployment of more targeted ad segments.

But by forcing this integration to occur before the network has anything worthwhile to index in the first place, Google has done nothing but showcase its desperation to cling to its diminishing authority in an evolving digital world.  Far from inspiring users to trust Google and share more personal data across its platforms, the company’s actions have caused many long-time participants to take a hard look whether Google truly still has their best interests at heart – a situation that could ultimately lead to its downfall.

Image Source XKCD

 Is Google+ the Unwanted of the Social Networking World
Sujan Patel is a passionate internet marketer and entrepreneur. Sujan has over 10 years of internet marketing experience and started the digital marketing agency Single Grain. Currently Sujan is the CMO at Bridge U.S. a company that makes the complex immigration process easy and affordable.

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60 thoughts on “Is Google+ the Unwanted of the Social Networking World

  1. I agree, who has time or the energy to spend on another social network. So many people are on to the next shiny thing – FourSquare was all the rage, then Google +, now Pinterest. They certainly have use for specific markets but most people seem to think you need to be on every single site and that magically you will have hundreds of new customers. I think it’s time to go old-school and focus on what makes a business successful – good products and good service. All this other stuff doesn’t matter if fundamentally your business is flawed.

    You also nailed it that Google has forgotten about it’s core – “Search” and “Don’t be Evil”. I’ve often said to myself who cares about all this other crap Google is doing, you are a search engine so stick with that. It will be interesting to see how they continue to push Google + and how they continue to integrate it into the search results.

    1. I think the part about Google abandoning its core mission of “Don’t be evil” is as troubling as anything else. Whether Google+ succeeds or fails is yet to be determined, but you can’t argue that Google isn’t trying to control the flow of data in ways that aren’t always ethical. That’s what makes me most concerned for the future of SEO.

    2. Its interesting hearing all the “who needs another social network”. I distinctly remember hearing a ton of “who needs another browser” when Chrome came out. But Chrome just turned out to be better in a lot of areas and eventually caught on. I’m not saying that guarantees anything for G+, but don’t kid yourselves, the masses will always be open to another service if it does something better. G+ might not do much better yet, but when they integrate all their Google products, that will be something FB has no answer for. It will be interesting to see how it plays out a few years down the road.

  2. As a parent of a brilliant but learning disabled child who often rides to school on a bus which is shorter than the traditional version, I and every other parent of such children finds your use of terminology incredibly insulting, and kindly request that you edit your title.

  3. Tell that to my 26,000 Google+ followers and my Google Analytics data that says on ever one of my sites my best traffic, my most high quality and my most highly converting social traffic comes from Google+.

    Seriously, you have no idea what you are taking about. Except… At the same time, even I hate the new UI, you are right, it’s a Facebook clone and I threw a day long rant about.

    1. I didn’t say no one’s doing well on Google+ – just that it’s popularity seems to be limited to the tech industry (which, you seem to be in…), which makes forcing its integration into the SERPs a bad idea.

      I’m glad it’s going well for you, but that level of success certainly doesn’t translate across industries.

      1. I’m not a techie by any definition, and I am becoming addicted to G+. I follow a lot of writers and scientists. There is enough on G+ already to suit the interests of people well outside of just techies.

  4. This article is well-developed and true to what is really going on here. Google+ is forced. No one wants to use something that’s just there. The previous comment hit it perfectly when he said that the next shiny thing gets the attention.

    For Google now, if they can have people agreeing to use Google+, they’ll find ways to force people to use it. Why do you think they came out with that Google Glasses video now? The glasses are supposedly not even close to being ready for the public, yet they are “advertising” them now. The interface for the glasses looks like it will be Google+, thus, forcing people to use the now flailing social media network.

    We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

    1. G+ is forced because first and foremost G+ is intended to be an identity service for Google so that it can know its users. In this regard, G+ will be a success for Google even if its not used for social as they will have 1 login for all their products. That said< I am sure they also want G+ to be a success socially, but given the spine comments by Page this week there are clearly 2 different elements of success for Google with G+.

  5. You may want to rethink your career in journalism if you’re only looking to compare apples to oranges (or androids).

    The simple fact is that social networking is only a small fraction of what G+ does, think about integration between services and platforms and you’ll find G+ is not a true social network but an amazing media platform that can send a deluge across a large area or hit a precise target with equal ease.

    G+ allows regular people, businesses and professionals to congregate in one common place and still have privacy without leaving the site.

    Do some more research, talk to some social media and tech journalists and try writing a more informed article.

    1. Yes, Google+ allows people to do a whole host of things, but the fact is that they *aren’t* doing it. Adoption and activity on the site (whether you want to call it a social network or something else entirely) are way below projections, and don’t seem to be increasing.

      And while that’s not a problem for a fledgling social network, it is a problem when the content generated by a network that’s really still in its infancy is being pushed out to the results pages on the web’s largest search engine.

      That’s the issue – not what the site can or can’t do.

      1. How are they way below projections? Who made these projects you are using as a measuring stick? Not Google. Total G+ accounts have have gone up significantly every quarter. G+ now has over have the monthly unique visits of Twitter inside of a year. They are not in FB’s league by any stretch yet, but they clearly seem to be growing steadily.

  6. Amazingly, it took Twitter over 4 yrs to amass the same amount of users, and Facebook had only 2 million on it’s first birthday… Google Plus has been out 10 months! Give it a rest please.

    Just keep hatin’…. it seems to work for linkbait.

    1. Facebook was limited to college students only in its first few years (limiting its growth), while Twitter offered something substantially different than any other site on the market (allowing it to eventually succeed).

      Google+ is young and it still might take off, but I’d argue that it still lacks a clear point of differentiation that gives it a benefit over other social networking sites (meaning that there’s no compelling reason for people to join up).

      We’ll have to wait and see how it turns out, but I haven’t seen anything promising to indicate that future adoption will grow significantly.

  7. They are still going to pull it off because they are Google, period. Also, Facebook all but forced them to create their own social media platform, because Google knows that FB is going search in the future, and maybe have their own browser. Google is thinking future, and the future is in Social Media. And yes, you’re right, they need more data to market better. Again, though, because of FB, Google decided that social data is where it is. That said, there are some things they can, and probably will, do better. Just wait.

    On the subject of social search, I don’t like it. The “old” way of Google search curation was just fine with me, and got the results I wanted.

    Google + will do just fine.

    1. We’ll see. Google’s early attempts at social networking failed misearbly (remember Buzz?), so I wouldn’t say they’ll necessarily succeed because they’re Google.

      Certainly you’ll have some diehard fans that’ll join because it’s Google, but I think we’re also starting to see a shift away from blind acceptance as users become more aware of exactly how much personal data Google’s compiling. Hard to say how much of an impact that’ll have, but if Google isn’t absolutely necessary (and, in an app-based world, it isn’t), that could drive a pretty big number of users away.

  8. Sujan, you make some interesting points. However, you are looking at this from a completely SEO perspective. Yes, there are going to be times that a searcher visits Google because they are looking for information. And yes, I agree I’m more inclined to trust Google’s algo over my buddies opinion on info topics.

    HOWEVER, a larger percentage of people wind up BUYING products and services right? The BUYERS who are ready to purchase are going to be looking for social proof on what is the best value for their money. If I’m ready to buy a new TV set and I see that my Google + friend, Sujan, gives his recommendation of a particular brand via a +1, do you honestly believe that I’m going to ignore that??

    The biggest reason why people are experiencing “social network burnout” is that everyone is so worried about reach, big numbers, and looking popular! Instead it is about the QUALITY of your network. How are you building relationships and trust? Who cares if you have 100,000 fans, or 50,000 peeps in circles if nobody trusts you or pays attention to you?

    Yes, Google is in the business of selling adverts… but everyone is selling something, even me and even YOU, Sujan. C’mon, be honest… you suspected writing a controversial article would get attention right? How about a bunch of people like me who found your article on … guess where? G+. Hmmm, me thinks this page might do well in the SERPs now.

    Anyway, Google + needs to develop its own identity, so it doesn’t mimic FB, but it is a one-year old baby. How much “character” does anything 1yr old have? lol…

    Sujan, I’m glad that you are going to ignore G+ (somehow I really doubt that) so less competition for us. Uh, how come you didn’t mention the fact that G+ links are all do follow? So really, there isn’t ANY benefit to creating a network on G+ you say?

    Thanks for writing your thoughts and for your interesting points!

    PS– Anyone who want to Circle Us can do so my clicking on my name…for those of you who do like G+!

    1. We all learned Google bashing gets traffic back in the Gwave days, guess it still works. But what are you going to do? Bash Facebook? Zuckerberg will kick you off in a heartbeat. I bashed FB compared to Buzz back when, half my email list went dead on me, peeps love FB, real loyal too. (word to the wise)

    2. Haha – of course I’m coming at this from an SEO perspective… That’s what I do :)

      And I’d have to respectfully disagree on trusting personal results more for buying decisions. If Google gave me the option of returning a Consumer Reports result reviewing the newest TVs or a blog post my non-techie buddy wrote about the discount TV he picked up at Bargain Bob’s, I want the legit, curated result.

      Of course Google+ needs to develop – but in my opinion (yours may vary, and that’s fine), it should have been allowed to develop *before* its content got pushed out into the SERPs. You can’t deny that the conversation and niche penetration on the site is uneven, making it unqualified for inclusion of tons of the pages it’s alredy been pushed on to.

      1. Sujan,

        I agree that I’m not going to always agree with my friend’s recommendations. But it will get my attention to at least look, even if I think my friend is an “idiot”. Again, you are looking at this from a higher than average perspective. So if you decide that it is time to clean the carpets or need a doctor, you won’t take your friend’s opinion into consideration? It doesn’t mean you will buy from the same provider, but again, if you respect your friend, you will at least take a look. It’s called social proof, and we both know it works.

        As for showing in the SERPs, it is likely to be premature. However, as long as I can turn it on and off, I’m cool with that. If I can’t turn it off (which did happen to me for a couple of hours… I think Google was testing), then that is a different story.

  9. As your article stated, change is inevitable… Which makes me wonder why anyone would choose to stay with Facebook. Facebook is the Walmart of social media. Its big, but it sucks ass and the people who go there are stuck-on-stupid like crack addicts.

    1. (raises hand) Bet you get more shares and comments than any of your other articles Sujan, unfortunately they will mostly start off like Bryan’s below LOL!

  10. Sujan Patel,

    You’re a complete moron. Calling all users of Google+ fan boys and geeks only shows that you have not done any research. I would think that someone who calls himself an SEO expert, you would take the time to research you the product you are attempting to bash. Google+ is nothing like Facebook (except in UI design) and anyone that attempts to use it like Facebook will certainly be disappointed.

    I suppose that if you want to get your customers’ interactions with their customers locked into a non-searchable database, then Google+ is the wrong choice. If you want the public to see how well your customers interact with their customers, then you are dead wrong. On all counts.

    I personally have helped several local companies increase their page rank in Google by helping them establish a Google+ presence and getting them to interact with their followers.

    Please do you homework before spreading your nonsense.

    Thank you.

    1. Are you really trying to argue that Google+ adoption is equal across all niches? Calling all users “fan boys and geeks” might be needlessly inflammatory wording, but it doesn’t change the fact that users of Google+ are largely male and largely tech-oriented.

      Which makes it great for some networks and not-so-great for others. That’s fine – those are the growing pains that any new social network will go through. But that doesn’t mean that its body of content is diverse enough or inclusive enough to be pushed out to the SERPs through Search Plus Your World.

      I’m thrilled that you’ve had success with the network and that your clients are succeeding because of it, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here.

      1. I’m male and tech-oriented, but I haven’t yet seen any description of Google+ that names anything I’m interested in.

        I’ve become familiar with another section of Google that seems designed to avoid having a good reputation – Google Groups. It used to be Google’s way of reaching newsgroups, but has now become a way of sending spam to the newsgroups, without having to pay for the ability to do so.

  11. Keep on thinking that! Google analytic combined with dash board is enough for me. No to mentions plus.google.com search optimization by + name, and all the .apps including “voice”. Have you tried “voice”? — s.e.o.

  12. Well, I can tell you one thing for certain: I won’t be hiring Single Grain to do any SEO for me if that’s what their co-founder thinks about Google+. What’s more, I would be completely unable to recommend them to a friend. I would, on the contrary, warn them to stay away at all cost. Google+ is the biggest thing that has happened to SEO for a long time. Neither is Google+ just geeks and Google fanboys. You will find avid bicyclists, runners, readers, cooks, knitters, authors, musicians – you name it. Google+ is AAA (Alive, Active, Addictive). Oh, and before I forget: I found this post whilst using Google+. :) Sujan Patel: I would recommend that you think twice before posting about Google+ negatively again. Your job could be at stake.

  13. From a personal standpoint, I can already tell that Search+ your world is going to piss the hell out of me. I agree with almost every point except for your first one in which you claim no one wants to participate in another social site. Pinterest being a clear example that whether the audience is there or not, if people like the idea of the social network, they’ll flock to it regardless of whether it’s just another fad or the next big thing.

    1. Pinterest is a good example of a growing social network, but I’d argue that it’s different in that it brings something new to the table. If Google+ has a similar point of differentiation from Facebook, I haven’t seen it and it hasn’t been clearly articulated to potential users – which could limit its growth and adoption.

  14. I guess until the average crowd starts participating more on G+ it won’t even matter. Pinterest is the same. You can read now hundreds of articles how Pinterest is awesome but when I ask anyone among my friends, none of them even know about it.

    1. I could care less about the people that I already know, I am a marketer, I want to meet new people, create new leads, get new traffic. I have never gone a a social site in 4 years in social marketing and looked to take a following there and drive new traffic. I look to build new traffic funnels, like my almost 26,000 new followers on G+.

      Asking your friends for advice is a great way to get answers you want to hear. Asking those who tried something new and did well at it is the way you get the truth. You all here are SEO guys right? Look at the success A.J. Kohn and Barry Schwartz are having on G+. They are the ones to talk to, they know the truth.

    2. Chris – Again, it’s great that you’re getting good results with Google+, but you’re missing the point. You’re in the niche that has adopted Google+ to a significant degree. That level of engagement simply isn’t seen across all industries (same with Pinterest), which makes Google+ content unqualified for inclusion in the SERPs.

  15. I find it a little funny that so many people missed the main argument in your post.
    For the record, I think you’re absolutely correct at how google+ currently stands – I have joined and I have done my best to connect with the right sort of people, but unfortunately my target audience just isn’t there yet.

    It seems that (as you said) the tech industry have adopted it wholeheartedly, and as a result the marketing industry have started to adopt it to tap into that new audience. Personally I hope it does grow and begin to attract users from all walks of life, just because I like the idea of having Google as a centralised platform where I can handle most of my SEO, ads, networking and whatever other products Google rolls out to help business owners and marketers.

    1. Exactly. Although the tech industry is well-represented, other niches just aren’t active there. We’ll just have to wait and see if that changes in the future!

  16. I have had many people tell me that Google Plus will just die and Facebook is just to strong, but the thing is Google Plus has the backing of Google….almost endless capital, they are able to push and push until they find a crack in the Facebook armour and can bend it to their will

    1. I don’t know if it’ll die. Certainly, if Google is committed enough to the project, any measure of success it sees – and it has seen some – will be used to justify further growth and expansion.

      I’m definitely curious to see where they go with it, though :)

  17. G+ isn’t anything like Facebook. It has an element of seriousness in its design and its followers that give it much needed difference. I don’t wanna live in a crowded place or visit a crowded restaurant no! i need my space in social sites and that’s what G+ gives me. Yeah! Facebook has many followers more than G+ making it crowded with a lot of jokers around there. I don’t wanna wake up to see my timeline covered in shit…no matter what you say G+ has it avid followers…furthermore i have never met anyone who loves Facebook but I know many people who love G+

    1. Actually, I pretty much did say that it has avid followers (although I got called out upthread for labeling them “fan boys and tech geeks”). Obviously, there are people who prefer G+ over Facebook, just as there are plenty of people who love the FB games you clearly don’t.

      But that’s missing the point. Whether or not *you* personally like Google+, you can’t deny that adoption has been uneven at best. It’s a new system (which is fine), but it isn’t ready to be pushed out to the SERPs via Search Plus Your World.

  18. It’s interesting when someone says a product is rubbish and then utilises it. Note 3 FB likes against 4 +. Why have SEO’s jumped on the bandwagon? As noted it completely mashes up Google’s rankings for those signed up eg Mark Zuckenburg. People may not want the contant plus manipulates in the rankings but they’re getting it anyway which results in increased visibility hence the bandwagon and ultimately if SEOs are the first jumpers then business has to ultimately take note. I’m amazed that you don’t get that though?

    1. Are you serious? SEOs have jumped on the bandwagon because Google+ content influences the SERPs – that doesn’t mean that it should.

      If you read the article above again, you’ll see that my main argument is that this fledgling social network isn’t developed enough to be used in this way. No matter how much of a “rose colored glasses” view you want to take of the network, it’s primarily male and primarily tech-oriented, which means that a whole host of industries, perspectives and voices are being left out of this important integration.

  19. Yes the personalized search could really hurt Google. not just because of G+ but because google shows what it wants ..! and too much of itself can be problematic for Google. Anyways even after Google+ once again copied Facebook stuff but new layout is a lot better than the last one.!

  20. I’ve found that posting a link to a new blog article on G+ gets it indexed incredibly fast. I believe G+ cannot be ignored if you’re doing SEO. I think that if you can understand it, you can make into a great tool. Using it effectively can improve rankings – PERIOD.

    That said, I agree that most of the users are tech and SEO peeps. I’ve found that only ONE of my non-tech/non-seo friends from facebook utilizes G+ and that was because she had a negative experience on facebook. Big picture, REGULAR PEOPLE don’t want to have to deal with another social network. It seems like everyone signed up because they felt they had to, but so many people are resisting using it. Will that be the death of it? I don’t think so. Google is fierce and Google is powerful. They’ve got a lot more in this game than they did in Buzz, so I don’t see it going away any time soon.

    On another note, I hate SPYW. I especially don’t like seeing MY OWN stuff in a search result. What’s the point of that?

    Lastly, I found this article the “old school” way. A friend of mine (who is in my G+ circles, BTW) EMAILED it to me. You heard me right. :o)

    David McBee

  21. Why shouldn’t G+ content influence search? Yelp does! Twitter does! Commenting does! Facebook and Twitter were supposed to play nice and all be included going back to 2008 and Google Friend Connect. It was Facebook that closed their doors to Google and Twitter was in real time too, but then they closed the door on that.

    So Facebook and Twitter said now, I don’t want to be in Google social search. So where were they left with? Create their own, because the only thing left then is Digg and LinkedIn. You seem to blame Google Sujan, you should put the blame on Google social search where it belongs, on Zuckerberg’s head and Twitter.

    NICE TO SEE YOU CHANGED THE TITLE FROM “SHORT BUS” TO “UNWANTED” LOL Guess Google+ does have some power after all ROFLOL

      1. My book is not on shelves yet :] I have nothing to profit from on this post. Besides it’s all over G+ to troll you on this post, glad I am not you :] I went thru some BS like this when one of my competitors tried to smear one of my publishers on G+. No fun to bad had here…. I have learned not keep my big mouth shut… sometimes…..

  22. Sujan

    Great job of collecting thoughts that everyone has felt.

    Dear google plus fanboys…way to prove sujans point by coming out in force, butt-hurt.

    I found this article on Facebook from a social media friend.

    I, like many of my male friends, joined g+ in beta. Since then the only activity has been people joining. Most of those were tricked or forced into getting one. (upgrade your account lol)

    Not one national ad mentions g+. Move on google. Get back to innovating. Piggybacking is bad form on really smart people

  23. Sujan…OK, I’m with you on the social media burnout. I also agree there isn’t much happening for most folks over at Google+. But the one thing that makes me quibble with the premise of your post is the issue of authorship and how it will likely impact search in the future. Google+ plays a big role in this. I’ll add this link as a bit of reference as to what I’m talking about:

    http://http://www.seomoz.org/blog/authorship-google-plus-link-building

    I think this is going to push adoption of Google+ by a lot of businesses, like it or not.

  24. Wow. You are an idiot. Just because you choose not to get involved in a new social network does not mean that it’s only for fanboys and geeks. It’s for everyone who wants a better experience than what they are getting on Facebook. Some of us don’t even use Facebook for anything other than sharing photos of the kids with family. Which I’m not starting to do on Google+ since my family has brains and realizes it’s a much better system. Yes, they still have Facebook, and that’s fine. I’m noticing that they post less and less there though, and what is getting posted is now pretty impersonal. They can open up more to the right people on Google+ and they enjoy that.
    I love that I can have my different groups of friends in different circles. Do my workout partners really care about my kids? No. Does my recipe circle really care about my workouts? No. I have different groups of friends in real life, and now, thanks to Google+ I can have them online as well.
    I’m not geeky. I’m not tech savvy. But I do know a good thing when I see it and Google+ is definitely a good thing.

    1. So much circular logic. Google + sucks – its plain and simple. Larry Page should stop trying to shove its down our throats because we don’t need it.

  25. Technologically speaking, I think that Google+ is the leader hands down. (I can’t stand being on Facebook… I feel like I’m writing in a little girl’s diary and also reading all my friends’ and relatives’ little-girl diaries.)

    The point I agree with the most is “I don’t want personalized results.” I don’t understand why — when I am searching for any topic — Google feels it has to throw stuff into the results just because people I know indicated they “like” it. My Google+ friends, acquaintances, and people-I-don’t-know-but-follow-anyway) are all entitled to their opinions… but I don’t give a rat’s patootie when I am searching and I DON’T want to see their opinions in my results!

    Google is obviously pushing their “social network” for business reasons. It may take off, it may not… time will tell. Google’s job is to sell advertising, and if they can get 800 million people to visit Google+ regularly, that’s a LOT of pages to display ads on.

  26. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts, and a Google + account which if I’m honest I haven’t really got into yet. It’s interesting that some of the comments on here say it ‘s another “Facebook account” as Facebook is a platform that doesn’t seem to suit me.

    I agree that I don’t need loads of different social networking accounts, but Twitter alone isn’t enough. If Google + is a decent alternative to Facebook, then it could well suit me.

    I suppose it comes down to the individual.