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Google's Plans For Social Networking

 9:58 am on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google's Plans For Social Networking [guardian.co.uk]
Google will begin the introduction of "layers" of social-networking features later this year, the company's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, has said.

Speaking at the Zeitgeist conference yesterday evening, Schmidt suggested that plans for a social network to rival the likes of Facebook and now Apple's Ping are further away than previously thought.

Schmidt told reporters: "We're trying to take Google's core products and add a social component."

"If you think about it, it's obvious," he said. "With your permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better."



 10:34 am on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Wait! Did Schmidt really say "with your permission"?

Oh no, more tailored search recommendations...


 3:52 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Me, I am more into search results tailored to the query I did. And not to any social relationships I may or may not have.

creative craig

 4:07 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with johnmoose, for me my social friends have no impact on Google being able to deliver relevant and accurate results for green furry inflatable widgets!


 4:07 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

"You searched for the 1812 Overture, but all of your friends searched for Eminem, don't you want to be part of the group? You can buy Eminem at Google Music, or discuss at Google Social, or ............"
You don't know what you want anymore, let Google tell you what you want.


 4:19 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)


Something that did catch my attention from that Guardian article.

Twitter's vice-president of business and corporate development said: "Twitter is not a social network Twitter is news, it's information."

I always thought of Twitter as a Social Network as do many others. Now Twitter's VP states it is not? I'm confused.

Google and Social? It seems that all previous attempts have not been successful. There's a pattern that has developed. There really is only room for a handful of global Social Networks. Maybe one day Google will get the formula just right. Personally I think it is too late for them. Twitter and Facebook clearly have the market here just as Google have the Search market. Sorry Google, you may have to sit on the sidelines when it comes to Social.


 4:59 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Schmidt told reporters: "We're trying to take Google's core products and add a social component."

"If you think about it, it's obvious," he said. "With your permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better."

What this says to me is Google is going to try to do what marketers have wanted to do for years. They are going to marry ad profits and recommendations from your friends. The ultimate CTR and Conversion for the advertiser and the ultimate CPC for G all while giving the user "what they want". Very tricky tho...


 5:16 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

How to Use Google:

1. Go to [google.com...]

2. wait a few seconds until the hidden controls fade-in if you are going to do anything other than a general web search, (e.g. if you want a map, an image or to get shopping results).

3. type (1) letter or number -- read entire screen and see if Google produced relevant results, if not, type another letter... repeat until Google either displays the information you want, or you have typed your entire query, then press [ENTER]

4. After first search, locate link that says "
Web History" (in upper right corner of screen), click link.

__4a. then locate the link which says "
Disable customizations based on search activity." and click that

__4b. then click the "
Google Home" link to return to a page with a search box on it.

5. Once at the Google Home page, again, type the first letter of your query into the search box, and when box jumps to top of page, you will now notice a link which reads "
Instant is on", click that link

__5a. next, click the "
Off (Press Enter to Search)" link -- the search box will jump back the center of the screen.

6. You may now begin typing in your search query -- but remember, and this is important -- you will need to press [ENTER] when you want Google to perform the search.... REMEMBER, YOU NEED TO PRESS [ENTER], we can not reiterate this point enough -- as difficult as it is to remember, you will have to try to remember that you need to press the [ENTER] key when you are ready for Google to perform a search... (say "enter key", "enter key", "enter key" until it's drilled into your head and you don't forget)...

NOTE: If you clear your browser cache, or otherwise delete your "personal data" from your browser you will need to repeat the above steps to do use Google's basic search functionality without most of Google's saved copies of your personal or historical data or much of Google's programmatic influence affecting your search results, (although geo-location and other factors will still be applied based on IP address, time of day, national original, governmental policy, direction wind is blowing, chance of rain, number of days in month, Google CEO's dog's middle initial, or other factors which may or may not be protected by US and international patents, trade secrets, periodic algorithm modification, acts of war, whims, sneezes, solar flares, moon tide phase and the latest trend being capitalized on by others operating any website designed for human use and rumored to be a possible future advertising outlet.


 5:38 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

"We're trying to take Google's core products and add a social component."

like, um, adding a social dimension to something like, erm, Gmail? They could call it Whizz or Bang or, or....Buzz! Honestly, I think it will go down really well...be very popular. Hey, what could go wrong?


 6:37 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yet another example of teh Goog trying to be everything to everyone.

I believe this new social search thing correlates very closely with the changes people are seeing where social networks are impacting rankings far more recently.


 7:20 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

"With your permission..."?

The House of Ushers?

Just in time for Halloween. With my PII as treats. And Eric Schidt as the Joker. Bwahahahahaha...


 7:39 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting: this comes on the same day that the story breaks of Bing possibly integrating Facebook Like data to augment their web search results: [mashable.com ]. Hmmmm! :)

BTW it seems to be under-reported, but Facebook already does this with their own internal search engine for web results (not the one powered by bing, but the one that powers their own "instant search" dropdown)- [allfacebook.com ].


 7:48 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

With your permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better.

What about the permission of the friends?


 7:51 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

How to Use Google:

1. Go to [google.com...]

Haha. If only...


1. Type in google.com
2. Be redirected to google.de / google.fr / google.co.uk (or wherever you are located)
3. Type in your query.
4. Realize you have been redirected and only get local results.
5. Type in google.com a second time
6. Be redirected again.
7. Wait until the controls fade in
8. Click on "go to google.com"


 9:08 pm on Sep 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

OK, back on topic...
Here's a September 12 New York Times article that goes into the current thinking on this, if you're interested.

Like you, I'm getting questions on all of the social. I'm saying, "Keep your focus on the fundamentals."


 1:47 am on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

With Google engineers(David Barksdale - [blogs.seattleweekly.com...] ) busy hacking into 15 year old boys google products and spying they had better be asking for permission from now on, NONE of your PRIVATE Google info is more than a few clicks away from being read by strangers.


 6:47 am on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Schmidt told reporters: "We're trying to take Google's core products and add a social component."

That's like Toyota saying we're going to take your car and replace the drivers seat with a hot oil filled turkey fryer.

I'm perfectly happy to have Google take my search query literally and serve up results based on that and nothing more than that.


 8:13 am on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google wants critical mass available from day 1, it's important for a social network not to feel empty and facebook is already established so... the wait is about critical mass.

In other words they want to make a big enough wave to at least break the outer walls of the facebook sandcastle :-)


 11:12 am on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Isn't product development supposed to start at the question "how can we make the product better?", rather than "hey, we need some social component! How can we add that and make it look useful?"

It'll be great for the stock value, though.


 12:58 pm on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

exactly yaix, they are going at this from completely the wrong angle. G are becoming a lesson in how the larger a company becomes, the more bone-headed its decision making gets.


 1:23 pm on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

I write code for living, the dev team at Plex should stand up for their values, if any...

Added: and I am sure at least one of them will read this thread.


 1:28 pm on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

I know you all laugh at Google for trying to do this, but the reality is they have to do something. They won't be king of search forever, they're getting more competition with their cash cows Adsense/Adwords(and who knows how long ads will last?), they're losing people to closed in areas like Facebook...things change.

No matter what you do, you have to evolve as a company or you WILL be left behind. Please name a successful company that hasn't changed something over a 10 year span. I will agree they're attacking the problem incorrectly but they do need to attack it regardless.


 2:03 pm on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree, StoutFiles, they have to do something. If search and social mix well can only be found out by testing and trying. Let's hope they don't mess up the SERPs on the way too much ;)

It's a bit like Microsoft and Windows 98. The Internet was the new hype, and MS added "Internet" to everything, useful or not. Just for fear to miss the train (don't know if that was positive or negative or even necessary for them).


 3:12 pm on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations

Umm.... I don't think so. For instance what if one of my friends is into some really weird stuff, I dont want inappropriate ads popping up for me just because my friend is a freak in his leisure time.

I mean really... just because I like flowers doesn't mean my friend is.


 4:42 pm on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

lexipixel - too funny and what's scarey is it isn't all the far from the truth! :-)


 7:55 pm on Sep 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is a publicly listed company which means their #1 focus is shareholder profits. Period.

Every new initiative they roll out will be based in one way or another on using your intellectual property (your website(s) to put revenue in their shareholders pockets. Now it seems if I choose to enter into on-line friendships and communicate thoughts/ideas/observations, that Google will treat that information as theirs to use for their own vested self interest.

Is there anything in the Google business model that doesn't belong to someone else? How did we get from "bringing order to information on the internet" to "everything on the internet is ours to profit from"


 5:01 am on Sep 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Maybe the new "Press Enter to search" prompting is part of one of the layers of social functionality...

Facebook was vetted by 18 year olds -- maybe Google is taking the long-tail approach and appealing to pre-schoolers, better yet -- newborns.

The PRESS RELEASE: Hoping to grow a generation of droid based followers. Google has purchased a maker of mobiles that hang over babies cribs. The mobiles have been improved with Android based ROMs. The mobile tracks the baby's eye movement, and logs these eye movements and responses to visual and audible cues to the babies primordial likes and dislikes, (affinity for certain colors, shapes, sounds, light levels and speed of response will help Google garner IQ and personality information, long before these traits are recognizable to even the baby's own parents).

Once Google has learned everything about the baby, (and recorded it all as a "human quality score" based on future earning potential and likely consumer spending habits), Google will them program the baby.

I'd expect a quote from Mr. Schmidt to the effect of, "We have partnered with Facebook and now understand that Mr. Zuckerberg was right in his early F*CK THEM assesment of other people's privacy", and how "corporations have purchased all the aggregated data and know what's best for people, period".

Corporate media buyers will bid for fresh clean minds.

Since this new generation will only know what corporate advertisers pay Google to teach them, (mostly stuff about associating branding and logos with basic needs like food, shelter and clothing, and a healthy dose of anti-union, pro-corporate messaging -- there will be nothing about disposable income as this generation will be programmed to eat, work, shop and sleep, and to procreate at a level that maintains proper supply-side economic profits.

It makes sense this new Android-Based-Google-Fed generation will not be very intelligent, and will need to be prompted with "Press Enter to search.".

This has been a free public service announcement from the future.


 1:50 pm on Sep 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would like and love to use G-book rather than F***book.
As they have email, talk, chrome and search so why not social networking as well.

Google is the best beat of Web.. so it makes some sense to have biggest social networking application with them.

I see most terrified of their browser Chrome, I donno for sure why, but as it runs into my machine..

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