We love the horse race in America. Whenever there are two choices that even appear to be in competition, we choose sides. Such is the case this week, now that Google has unleashed what everyone (except Google) is calling a Facebook killer, Google+.
In this case, picking a favorite to “win” isn’t really the point.
There isn’t any point (read as: money) in Google killing Facebook. Google makes their money from their search network. Facebook makes their money from… well, no one’s quite sure of that yet… maybe venture capital sources that don’t ask too many questions?
Anyway, the most likely point of Google+ is to keep people on Google, performing their searches on Google, which include their paid search ads, which makes Google money. If people continue to search with Google, they aren’t doing it somewhere else.
So Google+ isn’t about beating Facebook, but beating the Bing/Yahoo junta.
Google has been the absolute leader in search for years because they developed a better search algorithm than what already existed. This meant better search results, and a better product.
The methodology they created is now used by sites like Bing and Yahoo, and to many the variations in results between the three aren’t important. If that were to continue, Google might not be able to prove that they are better than their search rivals.
Enter Google+, something that will keep people close to their search product. They could actually trump Facebook with this. Personally, I doubt it’s really their goal.
Can Facebook and Google+ both be popular at the same time? As long as Google+ members find their way to ads via their Adwords program, I don’t see how Google could possibly care.