They say it’s an identity engine. Privacy advocates might have problems with the overall plan but the only way to truly organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful is to understand how the world’s information relates to how it is created and used.
I realize that statement sounds clunky. When watching the future unfold before your eyes, you have to allow for a bit of clumsiness.
Think of it this way. Information is an explanation of complexity and we are living in an ever more complex society. Understanding how a body of information is acquired, shared, compiled, used and expanded on is the key to knowing the different points that different people find value in.
Society is being transformed by our behaviours. As we rely more and more on Internet or satellite provided information services, those service providers acquire and compile more and more information about us. The information service providers make revenues by subscription or by selling ad-space on pages used to provide millions of individuals their detailed personal information. Those ads are tailored to fit the interests the services perceive about each user.
Aside from Amazon.com, none of the current information service providers have found a way to control online shopping or other forms of business to consumer transactions. At the tail end of the Web2.0 period, all the major information as service networks exist as gateways rather than as check-out aisles.
Google is attempting to square the circle on verifiable identity in order to learn how each person or organization uses information and which information is useful to which person or organization. Google Plus isn’t about search per se; it’s about harnessing the complexity of “your information” to better serve you and your needs. Think about experiments with Google Wallet.
Here’s a fun fact to think about. Google was built by a couple university students who grew up using libraries, encyclopaedias, books, their parents and their peers as primary information sources. Its original method of ranking documents was by the number of presumably scholarly citations. That shows how Google’s creators thought about the information most important and relevant to them. They thought like scholars because that is how they knew to best gather and use information.
The people making the freshest innovations in social thinking today have never known a world without the Internet. Naturally, they have a slightly different relationship with information than the previous generation does. Merging the mundane life-tasks with the logical precision of a personalized algorithm isn’t the stuff of science fiction to younger thinkers. It’s just the most practical way to self-source an age-old problem, how to avoid the drudgery of doing chores. Google is seriously working to offer a bunch of branded solutions to those sorts of problems. The future will be well coded for your convenience.
Google is still churning out search results. That is not going to change. How and from where Google draws reference data however, has changed dramatically. The Internet is driven by user behaviours, and users hang out in, and share information in social media spaces.
For search engine marketers, Google’s move towards a deeper examination of the relative usefulness of information presents a wide array of chaotic changes. Where keyword ranking reports are phased in to obsolescence, more granular profiling of users in different regions along with unique customers and social media supporters will become signals of successes. Digital marketing agencies will need to produce marketing assets like infographics, videos, and subtly disguised display advertising to go with more traditional text based blog posts and paid-ad purchases. Digital agencies will also need to plan long-term social media supported campaigns alongside traditional advertising agencies. Eventually the two will merge. Perhaps the most substantial change will be that search engine marketing agencies are being moved to transform into traditional advertising agencies.
For search marketers, the future is not coded for convenience. It is however a clarion call to expansion. Google Plus is a maturation moment.