You’d be forgiven for thinking that Google had put themselves on some swanky new guest list with all the talk about Google plus-one this week….but alas no – the reality is the launch of the new Google ‘plus-one’ button which went live this week in Australia.
So Google, along with the rest of the world has gone social on us. Not only will the Google plus-one button allow users to ‘like’ search results – it will also broadcast the number of ‘likes’ each result has, indicating the most popular results. Users can also ‘share’ their recommendations with friends via gchat, gmail, google reader and buzz. (that’s right – no facebook convergence just yet).
This new feature in effect, allows consumers to democratically ‘vote’ for their favourite search results, which sees a shift of power from the Google algorithm to a people-powered ranking system. Those results with the highest number of ‘plus-ones’ will then eventually climb the page rankings.
Consumer recommendations it seems will soon be driving google search! Is there no end to the power of the modern day people I hear you cry?
To be frank (who is frank anyway?) I don’t think so. We’ve seen the rise of the new consumer creating & publishing content, severely impacting brands through personal recommendations and nothing short of creating social movements! Of course! How could I be so naïve? Surely consumers driving Google search is the natural next step?
Let me just throw a tiny spanner in the works…. to use ‘Google plus-one’ you do have to have a Google profile and are prompted to update your privacy settings after your first ‘plus-one’ – is this a clever move from Google to build and grow their existing database of profiles? How much of a barrier will this place on useage? We are yet to find out.
The interesting thing for me is – how marketeers will attempt to leverage this new social search? I can already see a huge opportunity to engage consumer-influencers to publicly advocate branded content/sites via the Google plus-one.
The importance of leveraging your consumer advocates is only growing, powered by the plethora of new social technologies, platforms, networks…when will things stand still for just a millisecond?
As marketers in the 21st century we have had to learn to adapt swiftly as the diffusion of social technology races quicker than it ever has before. I don’t know about you, but I’m not planning on being a dodo anytime soon