Anyone who has surfed the web in 2013 has read content that concludes with “Sign in with Facebook” or “Sign in with Twitter.” These social media sites have done an amazing job of gathering data, even on third party websites. Unfortunately, some feel as if said social networks are using the data in a way that does not have the end user in mind. If only there were a way for users to surf the web while logged in and feel secure the whole time.
The Web is About Sharing Ideas and Facts
When users are looking to further their knowledge on a certain subject two web entities come to mind – Google and YouTube. Not surprisingly, these are the two largest search engines in the world. They also happen to be the same company. Why can’t comments and sharing be done through a company that already ranks and provides the best possible results for search?
Social media has completely changed web browsing experiences as the Internet is now about sharing and engaging in conversation. Fortunately, Facebook and Twitter have created the blueprint for how to get users to engage in an online conversation. After analyzing what Facebook and Twitter did right and what they did wrong Google has been working diligently to create the best social sharing product on the web – Google+. Do not think there has not been some bumps and bruises along the way.
What Google+ has done better than any other social website with 100+ million users is they have actively listened to those users. After getting great data through search and users they have developed features that have the end user in mind. On Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 Vic Gundotra and crew released the “Sign in with Google+” option for a few test websites. Some of these websites include Flixster, USA Today, FitBit and The Fancy. The aforementioned “Sign In with Facebook” or “Sign In with Twitter” will look a lot like this in the near future:
At this point you can only share your experiences with friends on Google+. There is not an opportunity to comment on third party websites…yet. A very important note is that when signing in through this “app” you are asked who should see your actions. This is something that is very important to Google. They do not want you to worry that everything you do on a participating website will show up in your stream. I think we have all seen that happen on other social networks; especially with games.
Something else that is offered through this “app” is the ability to invite friends individually or circles. If I have a circle of friends that loves shopping it stands to reason that I should invite them to join me on TheFancy.com to pick out some fashionable clothing. If I have a circle of news readers why wouldn’t I invite them to join me on USA Today to share news stories we find relevant. This makes me even happier that I cleaned out my circles in November of last year.
How Sign In with Google+ is the Future of Social Media
At this point, the test websites do not offer the opportunity to comment through a Google+ profile. It is coming. Anyone who has used social media in the last three years knows that it is all in due time before third party comments will be available through a Google+ profile. This is huge. Wait. That is not right. This is ENORMOUS! I am going to try and temper my excitement but it will be very difficult. There is a very good chance that Twitter and Facebook have been working to rank profiles but they do not own search – Google does.
Over the last six months we have seen more changes in Google search than we have seen in the past six years. The Knowledge Graph is getting better and better and search is becoming much more redefined. One of the reasons is that Google is collecting data from users on what they want. Some of this is through Google+, some of it is through being signed in through GMail while searching and some is just analyzing the data they collect every hour of every day. For those who may be unaware of the Google Knowledge Graph it looks something like this:
As you can tell, search is much different today than just a year ago. This brings me to the reasoning as to why Sign in with Google+ is the future of social media. Google has users that are actively telling them what they want to see through search. They are doing this through their actions. Google has patents that can place a value on a specific users authority in a subject which makes search even better. I will give you an example. Let’s say I am a huge Breaking Bad fan. Through my Google searches, it is quite obvious this is the case. Every Sunday afternoon I do some searches on predictions for the episode coming up. On Monday morning I search for the best recaps of the show. I have been reluctant to join message boards or comment on websites because it is convoluted and clunky. I also don’t want to get random emails from these message board sites.
In the future I will have the opportunity to go to a highly authoritative website, ranking one the front page of Google search, and comment through my Google+ profile. It will be seamless. I will also be able to share the content to my public stream or my Breaking Bad circle. That is great, but that isn’t even the best part. The best part is the fact that I can find other people on the highly authoritative website that have a similar interest. We have the ability to connect on any level through our Google+ profile. But Jesse, you can do this through Facebook and Twitter. Yes, you can, but what is not available is the ability to become an authority on that particular subject – IN GOOGLE SEARCH!
Google Author Rank allows Google to place a value on your areas of interest based on your interactions across the web. Right now Google can only do it through Google+ and websites in with you are an author and have installed Google Authorship. Mark Traphagen is an expert on this and I would highly suggest using him as the resource on Google+. When third party comments are released Google will have the power to determine your area of expertise all across the web.
Let us go back to the Breaking Bad example. Google has access to everything about your Google+ profile or page. This includes how visitors found your profile. If you are getting tons of traffic from AMC.com and BreakingBad.com Google can deduce that you have “some” authority in the subject. They also see what those visitors do once they get to Google+. If your visitors are reading your posts and immediately sign up for Google+ to comment I would like to believe this is a win-win situation. Why would they not think you are an authority?
Spammers will always be an issue, but Google has an answer for that. Yes, there will be plenty that try to manipulate the system and simply place links to “fan sites” through Google+ comments on 3rd party authoritative websites. Fortunately, they will devalue those links and it will be a great way for them to find websites that are attempting to game search. if you try it, the Google Spam team will find that their job is much easier. Here is an example of what it will look like to be signed into a website courtesy of GooglePlusDaily.com:
If you doubted Google+ is here to stay you can doubt no longer. When Google+ third party comments roll out across the web you can be rest assured that I will be commenting on websites in which I have a passion and/or strong interest. This will allow me to increase my author rank but, most importantly, it will allow me to build amazing relationships with people who have similar interests. That’s a plus!