Do people in marketing even hear themselves? I'm going to be charitable and assume this is ad copy aimed at other marketers because no real human has ever wished they could build a relationship with a global brand. Now if you excuse me, I need to go like the Guinness page on facebook.
While the normal computer engineer/entrepreneur is far too 'sophisticated' to have a personal connection with a brand, there are 'real-world' people that do have connections. It's not the cheap "let me play this memory game on their FB page" connection, but a deeper connection.
There are people who feel for brands like Khan Academy and what they're doing for education, there are couples who have a soft spot for their local restaurant where the guy proposed to the girl, there are even families that fondly remember their first beat-up Honda that was reliable through thick and thin.
Sure, we may not have these deep connections given our fast paced lives, but please realize that there are others who do have human feelings for non-human entities that have made their lives better.
Advertising works. At some point, engineers will practice what they preach and look at the data.
reading about it in such blunt terms might make it seem silly, but yes, people do want to associate themselves with global brands. they become part of people's identity, and i would think an internet person would have a better understanding of this than most, as we have more interactions with fanboys than most people.
Last I checked, pg hasn't started a tech company in decades. It's not the orange bar I'm here for, it's the people in the comments - most of whom are not even affiliated with YC.
I dabble and play with other programing languages and operating systems, but I make my money as SQL Server DBA, I hold multiple technical certifications from Microsoft, and use several Microsoft Products at home and at work. I have a long term relationship with Microsoft and follow news from them closely.
In a more frivolous example, I noticed that Bioware tends to make most of the video games I really enjoy. So, I follow news of new released, updates, etc from them.
Anything which provides a convenient mechanism to get news from companies like them that I deal with on an ongoing relationship, can be useful to me. Something which would let me send them questions and or feedback that they would actually pay attention to, would also be valuable. So, I do not know if I will ever use this particular feature from Google, but I certainly do build relationships with global brands and an effective tool in that arena could be useful.
I don't interact with a global brand in that way. Neither do you. But clearly, "people" do. As I'm looking right now, 107 people 'like' Toyota's update about their cars getting good reviews. One guy publicly reshared it with:
"I got my pride in my ride.....I like my swagger wagon."
This looks like the first time Google's fundamental search syntax has been changed to support a new product. Right? Wow.
So I guess now we know how meaningful the "plus" is. It at first seemed like a generic advertising term, like "Google Deluxe". Then when we started using G+, it seemed like it was just their riff on the @ syntax. Now we know it goes all the way to the input box on www.google.com, the very center of the Google user experience.
Now, queries starting with a plus basically shunt you to Google+ instead of web search. To the average Google user, it's like their country's phone company created new phone numbers that start with #. Can they do that? They just did.
The upshot is that Google has officially carved out part of the web search query universe just for a namespace of its own. Remember this day.
But for me here in California, [+pepsi] entered in either box takes me to Pepsi's Google+ page — and crucially, not to pepsi.com.
However, if I hit the search button, I go to Pepsi's G+ page.
Also in Firefox (7), "+pepsi" in the search bar goes right to their G+ page.
So what happens when you have two companies that have the same name? A classic example of this is the problem that rose with Nissan.com. It was registered by a guy who's last name was Nissan, to promote his family's computer business, Nissan computers. Then the car company tried to sue them to kingdom come.
Bring this dynamic into Google Plus. You have two companies called Nissan, and they both want product pages. Do you let them both be "+Nissan", do you force them to be "+Nissan Cars" and "+Nissan Computers", or do you let one be "+Nissan" and one be "+Nissan Computers", based on trending and search results? Or do you let one pay you lots of money to be ranked above the other?
If this sounds familiar, it's because it's both a recreation of the phone book, as well as Yahoo before they turned portal. I sense Google will get away with paid ranking because "it's their product" and they don't have to deal with net neutrality issues.
My trust in Google just tanked even more.
It also appears that the +[keyword] redirect in Google Search only happens with verified pages. I assume +[keywords]/Google+ Pages are going to be first-come-first-serve like twitter/facebook/etc with exceptions for trademarks.
Edit: It seems that the +[keywords] redirect is determined algorithmically.
> A page’s eligibility for Google+ Direct Connect is determined algorithmically, based on certain signals we use to help understand your page's relevancy and popularity. In addition to this analysis, we look for a link between your Google+ page and your website. To help Google associate this content, be sure to connect your Google+ page and your website using the Google+ badge, or by adding a snippet of code to your site, in addition to adding your website link to your page.
> Automatically add a Google+ page to my circles if I search for + followed by the page's name.
“Over time, I expect ‘+Pepsi’ to emerge on every can, on TV spots and on the Web site and become a cult phenomenon…Over a couple of quarters, brands will learn to utilize this.”
I somewhat doubt that, unless Google offers big cross-promotional subsidies. Which they might, but is sort of the antithesis of a 'cult phenomenon'.
I do find it interesting that Google, the infovore behemoth that killed various 'reserved keyword' schemes (as at AOL and RealNames, and even to some extent domain names) with flexible full-text-search is now reintroducing reserved keywords with 'Direct Connect'.
They could/should have a system up for registering company names though.
I don't understand why.
With FB a standard profile link looks like facebook.com/profile.php?id=xxxxxxxx but can be changed to facebook.com/your.name.here
Meanwhile, the support account is now being added to a bunch of users' circles automatically and recommended to thousands of others. Fabulous.
Only comforted by the fact that I used a Support Account to test this, instead of my real corporate account, thus angering the Google "Real Name" gods...so in good news, maybe the profile will be automatically deleted anyway.
I've ruined my FB account by liking every damn thing on the Internet that interested me, and since the FB Like button debuted I've accumulated over 1000 likes.
They now combine to fill my news feed with 99% noise, drowning out the posts from my real friends. Since I don't spend every second of the day monitoring my FB account, posts from real friends get pushed below the fold before the next time I login, and I miss them.
To make matters worse, FB has apparently disabled the Unlike button from the settings page that allows you to see all your likes in one dialog, which is apparently the closest thing to a bulk unlike available (you still have to click Unlike for each page, but at least they're all there in a convenient list).
So the only way to unlike stuff is apparently to visit each page, scroll down to the Unlike button in the bottom of the left menu, click it, then proceed to do the same for the next 1000+ pages. Not. I'm just switching over G+ instead.
Even with G+ I've made the mistake of subscribing to a bunch of shared circles, and there's an impedance mismatch between the topic of the circles, and the Public posts of the people in them. Even if I subscribe to say, a Python Developers circle, I still get people's public posts of pictures of dinner last night, etc., that is just more noise.
At least G+ makes it easy to fix the problem via unsubscribing, but what they could really use is the ability to add filters to circles based on hashtags. So if someone in my Python circle makes a public post that doesn't have #python, #pypy, #tornado, or some other python-related hastag that I've specified in my Python circle filter, that post won't show up in my feed.
But after having learned the hard way twice, I can guarantee I at least won't be adding more spammy businesses and whatnot to my G+ feed.
This is, by the way, something that has been possible for quite some time now.
Lately I am seeing a big "What's hot on Google+" section on top of the feed, showing antiquated Youtube memes from people I don't know. No way to remove it.
They are obviously trying hard to appeal to the mainstream audience (Hang out with Kermit and Ms. Piggy!). It seems weird for Google, unauthentic somehow. Their core 'fans', if that word applies, are engineers - I wonder if they wouldn't be better served seeding Google+ with the geek community and letting that user base evangelize the service.
I can't imagine them putting that in a subway ad.
So much for their own recommendation :
> For example, if you're searching for information about aviation, a URL like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aviation will help you decide whether to click that link. A URL like http://www.example.com/index.php?id_sezione=360&sid=3a5e..., is much less appealing to users.
But then again I wonder what the traffic breakdown of Facebook page likes is. 25% external (ie dallas cowboys site) 25% direct to their facebook page, 40% search, 10% newsfeed? (Random numbers)
Google could be driving search for pages instead of direct links, I guess that gets an extra page view out of the user's interaction. Just a random guess.
Looks promising, it integrates with Google Places
I do think it's pretty much dead unofficially, credit to a mediocre product and a suicidal(or non-existent) adoption strategy.
I'm as curious to see engagement metrics as much as the next guy, but I'm not reading tea leaves to predict doom and destruction for not happening to release those numbers just 6 weeks after the site came out of beta. You're trying too hard.
Despite the bullish talk about levels of engagement on Google Plus, I continue to find it strange that Google won't tell us how many of the reported 40+ million users are active, daily users.
Frustrated at not getting a straight answer to that, I optimistically asked Gundotra if he would at least give me the percentage of active daily users to total. But he wouldn't be drawn into that question either.
So I asked: what kinds of things are people doing on Google Plus right now? Vic Gundotra pointed to photo sharing.
"Since we went to field trial on June 28," he remarked, "we've had 3.4 billion photos uploaded to Google Plus."
"I sincerely doubt the service will die in a "year, tops" with 40 million users"
Naive much? That translates to we have 40M rows in a database table, please be impressed and don't ask us for engagement.
Google+ already seems to be much more popular than Buzz. I'm sure it will last quite a long time.
How do you know? There are two reasons one may feel that a product is very popular:
1. You read about it all over the media
2. You hear from friends screaming at you to get on it cuz it's "sooo good!"
With Google+, it's almost all #1 and very little to none of #2. If anyone knows about facebook's early years, it was the complete opposite. The press barely knew about facebook(part of it was because you needed a .edu email to just get in). And yet facebook kept piling on users and even more importantly, engagement.
So sure Google+ may have convinced 40M of hundreds of millions of google.com users to click on a button and agree to opt in to google+, but that doesn't mean jack in the social network game. It's all about engagement. And Google+'s engagement is next to nothing.
Facebook is dying!
Right now, there's no concept of having page "administrators", so the person who creates the page is the only one who can post to it. Also, no transfer of "ownership". Both these things are "coming soon" apparently but make the whole experience a bit suboptimal right now.
I'd imagine in the future Google+ pages will be like Facebook pages - the ability to add apps etc.
Yeah, I know that sort of thing isn't their focus, but this is just painful. At first glance it looks like an unprofessional, unpolished website. If nothing else, a bit more line-height and some strategically-placed padding!
Whatever they have to do to push new streams of ad rev though...