Simsi - 6:52 pm on Feb 13, 2012 (gmt 0)
People generally feel more comfortable buying or taking advice from someone they know or has been recommended and the more transparency you have in a relationship the better (generally speaking) so it seems natural that anonymity will be discouraged more and more as the Internet evolves. Especially when you add to the fact that "authorities" prefer it that way!
I'm not into "social" myself I can see why it is perceived by people - including Google - as being more influential. In the short term (next few years) I doubt it will have a major negative impact but over the long term I personally think sites/businesses in some b2c verticals would be astute to add more transparency - which may mean considering "social" - in order to stay competitive.
As for Google "telling people what to do with their sites" I agree, that's not their call but they don't: they just tell us what they expect to receive exposure on theirs - as I do to posters and advertisers on mine.