[highlight]All the social media talking heads have spent posts upon posts trying to convince us that Google+ is the next big thing. Most of us admittedly hate Google+ yet we’re participating because we feel we have to simply because:[/highlight]
A.) We don’t want to be left behind
B.) We are being forced to use it so we can better rank in Google search.
Every time I’m forced to use Google+ (which I am for work) I want to punch a wall. I mean, I don’t mind doing it to a point, since I know it does help the brands I work with rank when people use Google to search, but the fact that most of us are being finagled into using it without enjoying it whatsoever is what totally aggravates me.
Facebook didn’t need to force us to come over from Myspace.
Twitter didn’t twist our leg.
Nobody told us we just had to be there, we could see without any guru that we had to be there. It was fun, that’s simple.
Google+ is mixing its peas and carrots. It wants to be a social media powerhouse but its not taking off socially. Google+ is like the annoying younger brother you have to invite to the party so he’ll bring his hot older brother. We don’t play with G+ because we want to, but we want to impress the search ranking Gods and play with + to appease them.
That’s the thing- most people are on Google+ since they feel they have to be there to cash in on it’s SEO benefits, not because they want to be there. Sure, social media does generate traffic, but it that traffic is generated from the human experience when great (or inanely hilarious) content goes viral- social media in this context should not BE its own algorithm.
By making us play the game to rank, you’ve taken the point of social media out of context- socializing should be fun, stimulating, or simply to help us lose countless hours of our lives as living trolls…not a damn content farm.
Spend 30 seconds on Google+ and it’s obvious it’s not social media. People have not caught on to it’s use as a social media site- it’s an RSS feed. It’s just a place to re-post your latest blog content, store sale or press release so you can rank in search. The worst part is? Google already has a Reader for that same kind of content and frankly, I like it just fine.
Here’s the other thing- nobody is on it & it doesn’t stand out for what it is able to do. Since the only thing I’ve seen Google+ successfully used for is to promote content so it will better show up in search, why do we need another source for content feeds? That little orange RSS button works just fine to get the skinny on my favorite blogs, why would I double back and read the SAME CONTENT FEED on my G+ account? Truly- that’s all it’s being used for.
So, besides Google+ being a joke of a social media site (read: Moo, it’s a content farm. Bahhh.) the whole “+1” in search completely misses the point.
Honestly, let’s be frank here- how many times did you “+1” anything you searched for before you actually went to the site to check it out? That’s right, you typically only “+1” a search item if it’s YOUR SITE.
Why else would anyone give a site that popped up in a Google search a vote of confidence if they’ve never been to it?
In 5th Grade, I was running for Class Governor and losing horribly. I still didn’t vote for myself because even as a pre-teen that seemed rather insignificant and silly. Oh the foreshadowing. If only there had been +1 in those days so I could have mocked it as a 5th grader!
Honestly- I get the point of the “+1” button in that shows up search results, it’s well intended. But let’s say you’ve found a site that you’re “OH MY GAWD” in love with, what do you do? You fall in love with the content and the vote of confidence you actually give is a follow on Twitter, a “like” on Facebook, and you subscribe to their feed or newsletter.
When you love a site you like/follow/subscribe- You don’t hit the back button fifty times to prove to Google your search for useful content was fruitful by hitting “+1” after the fact. That is just sillyness.
I feel that everyone’s implementing Google+ not because it’s generated results or even a moderately enjoyable or fruitful experience, but simply because they’re afraid not to. The social media gurus have hedged their bets with their fear mongering that those of us in online business will be left in the dust if we don’t get on board. People made their fortunes on Facebook, this is the next big wave to ride, right? Too bad that it’s not.
Just because Facebook & Twitter have exploded does not mean that all social media is created the same. Case in point? Myspace. There was nothing wrong with MySpace. Yet we, as a culture, simply stopped liking it the social aspects of this social tool.
It no longer had a social appeal, and in fact, became socially stigmatized so people stopped using it. Facebook took over Myspace because it offered something different- it looked, felt and attracted people differently. It functioned better and was fresh. Myspace was no longer enjoyable, so thus, we stopped using it. That being said, Google+ needs to die simply because I hate using it.
Twitter has been able to co-exist with Facebook because its functionality and appeal were also very different. G+ is just like Facebook but doesn’t surpass Facebook, so where’s the appeal?
Google+ has all the right ideas for media, but in being social it completely fails, and because I’m still forced to participate, it infuriates me greatly. It parades itself as a social media site, but is so easily manipulated with SEO it needs to pick a side since now it’s failing at both.
Oh, did I mention nobody’s really on it? (Just bloggers re-posting posts. Yes, I wrote that to sound as stupid as it actually is).
Did I also mention that they advertised during the Oscars and I literally sighed as part of my soul left my body?
Also- why does a social media site need to advertise during the Oscars? It’s not the HPV vaccine, it’s not a public service announcement. We don’t need G+ for the good of the nation, so stop selling us on it.
I realize that everyone’s drinking (or at least kindly sipping) the Kool-Aid about G+ but I know I cannot be the only one who is so annoyed to the point of standing on a street corner with a bullhorn and spilling fake blood on people. Google+ fails to differentiate itself from other social media platforms, and even in it’s sameness it fails to surpass what’s on the market or offer an advantage.
[highlight]Frankly, Google+ sucks and the only reason it’s gotten this far is because for online entrepreneurs Google is God and we’re all scared to piss off His Googliness. [/highlight]