Google Plus: The Future Evokes a Strong Reaction

April 30, 2014

Forget the change in leadership. Google’s social network, either Google Plus or the almost unsearchable Google+, is triggering some Internet chatter. I enjoyed “’Sign in with Google’ Button Could Send Google+ to Oblivion.” The word “oblivion” is an interesting one, but I noted this passage:

The abrupt departure of Google+ creator Vic Gundotra from the beleaguered social network led to immediate speculation that its days as a competitor to Facebook and Twitter are numbered.

I marked this segment as well:

But it also suggests that the company no longer wants Google+ to represent it around the web. Google’s brand is much stronger than that of its social network, and some developers may be more comfortable adding a generic Google login to their sites and apps.

I am not a social media cheerleader. A telephone works pretty well for me. I am also able to send an email. The notion that I want followers, a job, or extensive digital contacts is interesting. I am not sure that embraced the assertion that Google Plus/Google+ was the new Google.

Google does one thing today that makes lots of money. The company sells ads to those who do not have another way to generate sales leads. As traffic to Web sites erodes, leads are needed. Google, rightly or wrongly, thrives on the perception that online advertising is the solution to a company’s marketing problems. Here in Harrod’s Creek, few remember that Google’s online ad business is a variant of the original pay to play or pay to get traffic models developed by GoTo. With the decline of traditional desktop Internet surfing, the future of information access for many people is a mobile device. For Google, the problem is that screen real estate is less generous. For folks like me, tapping on a tiny keyboard or talking in a noisy restaurant to a smart speech to text system is frustrating. Google’s current management shift is one consequence of a fundamental change that is taking place in online access.

It is easier to ask someone a question or seek another option. For me and it seems lots of other people, that option did not include Google Plus or Google+. I just received another thick paper business directory. Is it my imagination or are traditional print sales media making a come back. A big thick phone book stuffed with ads and fat envelopes with coupons for El Nopal Restaurant tell me that online ads are not for everyone.

It is possible that Google will dust off Alon Halevy’s approach to figuring out social data. It is possible that Google will try again to roll out a social media service that will pump up Google’s revenue so that the company’s growth knocks the socks off analysts. It is possible Google will roll out another “me too” business.

Stories that reveal management churn and raise questions about major Google services have one benefit. The Wall Street analysts have an opportunity to interpret this executive change as a definite “plus”. I look forward to those positive insights because some of the write up are downright inventive.

For now, Google is looking more and more like a company with a potential flop on its hands. I hope not. I enjoy reading about Google Plus or Google+. It is tough to search for information about the service though. That pesky reserved character “+” is a challenge for some search systems.

Stephen E Arnold, April 30, 2014


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  3. Michael on July 9th, 2014 4:01 am

    Google Plus recently celebrated its third and probably the last birthday on 28-Jun-2014. Three years and this service from Google has failed to make an impact in the market dominated by the likes of Facebook and tweets of Twitter.

    Google is also back-pedaling on the way it was using Google Authorship in search results to encourage authors to use the service.

    Is it really dying?

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