11/09/11
Google Vs Facebook – Clash of the Titans

I’m sure by now you have heard about Google+ and you may well have signed up to it. But it is hard enough trying to keep up with your ever increasing Social Media workload without adding another network into the mix.

Google Vs FacebookWhether or not you should jump in and embrace it is a matter of some debate. Although I have a google plus account I am not investing much time into it at this stage but am trying to keep abreast of the latest developments so that I am well enough informed to make a decision to invest more time in it when I feel the time is right. Let’s face it Google have had their fair share of failures and have touted a whole manner of services as being ‘the next great thing’ – Google Buzz or Google Wave anyone?

Google makes a living out of data but they must have looked at Facebook and been a little bit irritated that the likes of facebook gather a massive amount of marketable data without even trying. People volunteer information about their likes and dislikes, music, films, holidays etc without even being prompted so it is understandable that Google wanted ‘in on the act’.

But Facebook are in an incredibly strong position with 30 million users in the uk alone. One social network is more than enough and most of you reading this are probably using two already, Linkedin and Facebook. There is no way I have the time or the inclination to become embroiled in another so the only way I can envisage moving allegiance to Google is if my current network of friends move with me. I like to keep friends and business acquaintances fairly separate as the tone of my communication with both groups is different. But of course nothing is that cut and dried and there is a definite overlap with some friends being business associates and many business associates becoming friends over time. The way we could look at this is like a venn diagram. Now if only Linkedin and Facebook could be merged together – cue Google+ circles!Google Circles Explanation

Of course you can arrange your friends into groups on Facebook although in my opinion the way that operates is a damn site more clunky than Facebook. Google are trying to combine the best elements of Facebook with the best elements of Twitter to expand your network beyond people people that you physically know as you can on Twitter so you can follow the status updates of people in your industry for instance – cue Facebook subscriptions!

Google have got it all to do and Facebook can ride on the back of their work. When Microsoft rolled out Microsoft Bing, Google were just rubbing their hands. Bing knew they couldn’t compete in the short term on the quality of their search so what they concentrated on were all ‘the bells and whistles’ that would give their customers a better experience. So Google just sat back and integrated any of the nice knew bits from bing that they felt appropriate into their own product.

Facebook are now able to do the same. Their customer base is fairly safe as long as they keep moving so they can now just sit back and cherry pick the Google innovations that they like and integrate them into their own platform.

But you can rest assured that Google will be making Google+ a priority so it isn’t going to fall by the wayside in the near future. They have to make it a priority, with Facebook search being powered by Bing and Facebook being the starter page for so many online sessions (48% of 18 – 34 year olds check facebook as soon as they wake up) Google stand to lose a substantial market share despite the low quality of Bing search results – convenience is everything!

The final problem that Google face in this battle is the fact that Google plus already has and will continue to have SEO benefits. Well surely that is a reason to sign up to Google+ I hear you say. Well on the one hand it is but the biggest problem they face is that it is open to abuse. Within the first few weeks millions of false profiles were set up. They are trying to address this but ultimately a Social Network has to be about real people!

One thing is for sure though. These battles can only be good for us. Facebook can no longer be complacent, they need to listen to what people want and keep innovating. I don’t keep the comments open on this blog at the moment but why not join the conversation on our on our facebook page.