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July 26, 2010

Is Google Really Developing a Facebook Killer?

No less than CNN is reporting rumors that Google does indeed have a social networking site in the works which could give Facebook some competition. This new social site/program is supposed to be called GoogleMe or Google Me.

Only Google knows the truth.

However, creating such a site would be a smart move on Google’s part since they do need to compete with Facebook, mainly because Facebook is turning into a real search engine, one that could possibly give Google a run for all those lucrative search dollars. Ridiculous you say – not really, especially when you consider Facebook’s recent move towards “Open Graph Search” and its use of the “Like” button and box.

Unless the surfing public changes overnight, Bing/Yahoo is not going to give Google any real search competition, but Facebook with its massive number of users and rating system could present a true contender.

We also might see a complete change in how the surfing public sees online search. Google and the other search engines are quickly becoming one big “joke” in regards to organic search with big companies buying and selling their way into the top 10 spots and the search engines are helpless to stop it.

Link buying and selling has made organic search a joke and more and more web users are catching on to this fact. Once this becomes common knowledge, search engines will be appropriately viewed as corporate billboards rather than anything of true relevance or importance – even the mighty Google could fall.

That’s why Facebook and its actual ratings/rankings by actual consumers/customers are becoming much more important. While even this kind of search equation is open to abuse, a search engine based on such “user-based” results will beat Google’s SERPs any day.

Once web users realize the true value of such rankings and search engine, then Google will have some real competition at last.

Of course, Google is not standing still. As those of us who make a full time living from search engine marketing will tell you, Google is placing more emphasis on “user-generated” content and ratings. They have placed more emphasis on the “truer” ranking systems on the web, those coming from social networking sites like Twitter, Digg,, YouTube, MySpace and even Facebook.

How many Tweets does a post get? How many Diggs does your content gather? How many comments does your YouTube video have? How many Thumbs Up? How many times is a web page bookmarked in and recommended to friends.

Granted even these social bookmarking sites can be manipulated, but it is just a little harder to do than simple link buying or employing simple SEO tactics/services to get your site to the top spot. Which brings us back to the question at hand – is Google developing a social networking site like Facebook? If you count all the programs/sites which Google currently offers up: Google Wave, Google Voice, iGoogle, Google Accounts, Google Buzz, Gmail, Google Profiles… one could argue… does Google really need another social networking program?

Considering all of these current offerings, is it just me, or is there a lack of focus to all these Google products? Google needs one site which connects all of its programs/products at your fingertips. Maybe iGoogle could fill the spot, but it doesn’t take in everything or have that crucial social networking element.

Google should have a social network site like Facebook, where you can easily connect with family, colleagues and friends, but the site should also have a sidebar which lists all the Google programs/sites that you use. The site should be a “one-stop-center” for all things Google.

Google and all its countless programs needs a concrete solid focus or center. One click and everything that Google has to offer is displayed on ONE page. More importantly, all Google’s products need to be consolidated and connected – Google Voice, Wave, Buzz, Maps, Mail, Profiles, Search… all need to be functional in one simple social networking platform.

Create or develop a user-based ranking/rating system within this newly formed social networking site and Google will be able to compete with Facebook when it comes to true democratic search. Such a site, if it does materialize, could give Google’s Search Engine, and search in general, a much needed dose of honesty. Then again, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride and Google would no longer be a one trick pony.

All opinions expressed in this piece are solely those of the author who has been following Google since it was a mere BackRub. He is also a full time search engine marketer who operates numerous niche sites, as well as two sites on Internet Marketing, where you can get valuable marketing tips for free: internet marketing Titus Hoskins Copyright 2010. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.