Tag Archives: search

Is Google’s latest Google+ search move anticompetitive?

Google announced Google+ integration into Google search today, which will bring users more personalized results based on friends’ usage of Google+. The social integration, however, will only be for Google’s in-house social network Google+. MG Siegler believes the feds and rival social networks won’t stand idle:

This is the type of case that Senators die for. Google wrapped it in a bow and placed it in one of their laps.

Most of the broader antitrust concerns against Google are bullshit in my opinion. You can argue that they have a monopoly on search, but it’s a natural one. They’ve earned it. They’re simply better at search than their competitors. This has always been true. It remains true.

But when they use that natural monopoly to start pushing into other verticals, things get gray. Travel, restaurant reviews, etc, etc. We see more of it each year.

But this, at first glance, seems decidedly worse. Google is using Search to propel their social network.

 

Google+ is the social wrapper around Google’s other products

To me, Google+ isn’t so much a social network in the traditional sense or a direct competitor to Facebook.

Google+ is the social wrapper around Google’s existing products, enticing users to spend more time on those sites, interact more and give everything that Google does a social dimension with a cohesive wrapper. I now use plus.google.com as my launching pad to the Google world. This is why I think Google+ is going to be a success.

It’s not a social network in the Facebook sense of connecting with family and friends. Nor do I think Google+ would find much success being a direct Facebook competitor. Rather I see it as Google 2.0 (or a plused version of Google, if you will) that is bringing social to all of Google’s products.

I use Gmail as my main email client, Google Search as my only search engine, Google Docs for much of the work I do here and elsewhere and sometimes I use the Google Reader Web interface (strongly prefer Reeder). Because of Google+, I have found myself using these products more, and this is Google’s ultimate goal.

Google+ is not an island.

If Google wanted Google+ to be a social networking island, I think it would define success much differently. To be a success that way, Google+ would need to rival Facebook in the number of users. But as a social wrapper around Google’s core products — a way of taking Google into a new decade and phase in the company — its core mission is to get people to use Google’s other products more and more collaboratively.