When we aren’t writing about Twitter, we are writing about Google – that is when we aren’t writing about Google and Twitter. Twitter is the social media tool du jour, every marketer is talking about is so of course we are going to write about it. And Google? Well my friend, Google simply is search. They have a 72% share of the United States search market – and rising. Everyone else is a fringe player.
On top of that, just this week Google made a series of moves that on their own would have been a month’s worth of spin for another company. Yesterday we covered their rollout of behavioral targeting options for their content network, a major move with implications throughout display advertising and publishing.
Meanwhile Google has added commenting to their Reader functionality. This seems like small potatoes unless you look at the totality of functions that logged-in Google users have use of – from IMing with Gmail to sharing articles, following other users, profile creation and even controlling your own search results. As Jesse Newhart suggests all Google has to do is tie in their functionality and lower the walls to allow true social sharing and they have a social network. Did I forget to mention that they have also just released their FriendConnect API publicly to better compete with Facebook’s Connect?
Google has also made me look like a sucker for suggesting that they would pare down their interests to their core search-related activities (which any reasonable person would include social media in). Just today they announced the rollout of a Skype-aping phone initiative Google Voice, based on a company called Grand Central they snapped up in ’07. Google Voice allows for cheap international calling, multi-phone following, and lots of other features at or below Skype like cost for the consumer. Naturally they worked just a lil’ search in, with transcribed searchable voicemail archives.
The bottom line is that the changes to their content network and the rollout of Google Voice should lead to more money coming in, as will their decision this week to charge merchants who use yet another Google product, Checkout, their PayPal enemy.
While a variety of Wall Street analyst types (and we know how accurate they have been) and Silicon Valley seers have been predicting Google’s comeuppance the search giant just keeps rolling. As we’ve said before, this is not to say that the spectacular growth they’ve achieved in the past is sustainable in this economic environment. The evidence this week is that they are still finding news ways to make a buck.
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