Slowly but surely, Google is becoming more social – but it’s not because the company has launched a social network that rivals Facebook, and it’s certainly not a sudden surge in Buzz popularity. Rather, it’s because Google has started to enhance its social elements and add incentives to using them. One of the most recent features is the new “Me on the Web” option, located in every user’s Google Dashboard.
The Google Dashboard (google.com/dashboard, if you want to head to it now) includes a variety of controls on user privacy, account information, connected accounts, and enabled services. Those familiar with the page will notice a brand new element, Me on the Web, located just below “Account.” This section shows you what links you have going out from your Google profile, allows users to quickly set up alerts on mentions on the web (using their name or contact information to trigger said alerts), and provides links to Google Help documents on identity-related topics.
Part of Google’s Me on the Web feature is a set of directions on simple reputation-management procedures. Users are encouraged to do searches for their own name to see what comes up, create a Google profile, set up Google Alerts, and work to remove defamatory or inappropriate content from the web. Users can even check out a guide on how to prompt Google to review a site or page for removal and how to keep personal information off the Google search results.
This extra layer of control offers Google some significant advantages when compared to competitor Facebook, who often comes under fire for very liberally sharing personal information with other users. Google seems to be working at stacking the deck in their favor before they make a second attempt to enter the world of social.
[Sources include: Mashable]