Since this blog is so much more casual, I thought I'd use to muse on a short history of Google's launch of Plus.
- 2008 Google Wave fails. Twitter and Facebook grow at record rates.
- 2009 Google groups and other offerings evolve incrementally.
- 2010 Facebook hits more users than the US population.
- 2010 Google announces that it indeed does use social data in its ranking algorithm.
- 2010 Twitter's real time search and Google make the point clear and obvious. SEO Moz performs experiements comparing target pages with lots of links and no Twitter citations vs. few links and Twitter citations. The latter blows it away.
- Hordes of SEO experts and Internet marketers promote getting yourself on social networks, as they should have.
- Mid 2010 Google secretly begins development of Google + as an entire social networking platform. All the while, Matt Cutts encourages people to become popular on social networks. In his typical fasion, he never reveals any specifics about how to achieve the benchmark of the social-push for Google organic search ranking.
- 2011. Google rolls out several updates targeting content farms and scraper sites. Something isn't quite right. A piece is missing. Social verification seems incomplete but the idea is there.
- July 2011 Google releases + in beta. The strategy becomes obvious.
Sun Tzu would have been proud. The irony of making Facebook and Twitter bear the burden of hosting millions of new users who don't want to miss out on the marketing value of social networking. Meanwhile, they build a platform that exceeds any other in capacity. Google invests some of its 1-2 million computers to host Google+ traffic and platform. Google uses the human verification algorithm drawing right from its own base.
- Google frees up resources that are now required to index the deluge of new pages generated by spammers and content scrapers and article spinners. If they can simply start ignoring people without a social marker they can use resources to index pages put up and verified by actual humans.
- Eyeballs. Everyone who was on Facebook for the social marker is now looking at Google instead. Advertisers will pay attention.
- Acquisition of search market share. If Google is successful in its social platform, more people will simply capitulate to the Google brand, which is already extremely well integrated across the board from Email to Plus, and abandon Yah-bing. (yes, they're the same now)
Can your Facebook Albums do this?