Google+ to Facebook: All Bets Are Off!

David Amerland
David Amerland owner/founder,

Posted on September 1st 2011

Google+ to Facebook: All Bets Are Off!

In the gentleman’s discord which was the spat between Google and Facebook, Google+ was the pawn the former moved against the latter in a strategic move intended to help Facebook grow up and play nice.

Facebook retaliated almost immediately with an ‘awesome’ announcement that fizzed and has since changed the functionality of its commenting system to create inline comments on posts to its members Walls so that they avoid replication and duplication of content (and create noise), changed the way you can share content to imitate Google’s Circles functionality and has experimented with unfiltered content on its Wall, in effect nullifying the EdgeRank it had in place which stopped some posts from being seen by everyone.

Until now, Google+ was not really a direct competitor to Facebook. While the latter aimed at creating social networks between friends the former was aimed at fostering social media connections amongst like-minded individuals roaming the web. While Facebook wanted everyone to join ‘Club Facebook’ and interact, Google+ was all about saying ‘Hey, I saw you liked a webpage featuring the mating habits of Bonobo primates and thought I’d say hi’ to a stranger. No more. Or at least, yes, all that plus a lot more.

In a move that’s now a direct, gauntleted slap across Facebook’s face Google+ is rolling out functionality intended to help its users make connections with each other based upon location, education and even work experience.  The result will be that Google+ with its wider-web social function, impressive ability to affect search results rankings and importance in discovering new connections and new content, is now also be able to function as a club.

As we are rolling towards Christmas and Google+ is preparing to trial business pages this is an important move for the social network. By having access to such data its inline analytics (which it is working on) will be capable of giving businesses compelling reason to be on the social network just for its reporting precision alone. In addition, should Google decide to also now introduce advertising to G+, the additional data it will have from its social network will enable to refine its AdWords functionality to offer the same ability Facebook has to target by interest, age, education and background, initially within G+ and, eventually – as the volume of data grows – across the web.

The implication for social media marketers and businesses is obvious. What it means for ordinary users is that the competition between G+ and Facebook is now entering a new, more direct level and here they will be playing for the heart and mind of each one of us. In order to gain access to what we each have to offer they had better be prepared to gift us with the kind of functionality and responsiveness to complaints we have a right to expect.

David Amerland

David Amerland


David Amerland is the author of seven best-selling books including "Google Semantic Search: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques That Gets Your Company More Traffic, Increases Brand Impact and Amplifies Your Online Presence" and "Google+ Hangouts for Business: How to use Google+ Hangouts to Improve Brand Impact, Build Business and Communicate in Real-Time."

He helps multi-national clients and start-ups to organize their SEO and Social Media strategies. He is a business journalist, author and international speaker. He blogs about social media and search engine optimization, writes for a number of prominent websites including Forbes, and advises a handful of corporations on their social media crisis management techniques.

His books on SEO and Social Media demystify the complexity of the subjects they cover for readers around the world providing an accessible blueprint to better understand and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the connected economy. Follow him on @DavidAmerland. or find him on G+

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Posted on September 1st 2011 at 10:28AM

Sounds like a bigger threat to LinkedIn than Facebook

David Amerland
Posted on September 1st 2011 at 6:13PM

Pete, you are right. It can pose a threat to LinkedIn but compared to Facebook LinkedIn are small fry. It will, however, be interesting to see if Google+ can entice professionals who are comfortable working in a niche (i.e. LinkedIn) to change their online connection habits.

Posted on September 1st 2011 at 1:55PM

The end of EdgeRank is great news for marketers working in social media. I'm myself a film marketing consultant and stopped a few months ago advising my clients to automatically create a fan page for their company or their film. All the hard work put into the fan page ended up being seen by less than 20% of the fans and required a continuous effort to keep ranking high enough to appear on fans' wall. Twitter and LinkedIn's unweighted approach seems much stronger for the industry I work in.

David Amerland
Posted on September 1st 2011 at 5:44PM

Mathias you are toatlly correct in your assessment of how Facebook's EdgeRank affected marketing efforts and posts on Facebook. EdgeRank was perhaps a little premature from Facebook - they thought they were winning the battle for an online presence and taking traffic away from Google, they also needed some logical way to filter Wall Streams. They have not completely retired it as the unfiltered Wall Streams are still in what should be called Beta, which means they affect mainly US-based fans. 

So far there has been no backlash and marketers have welcomed the move so I suspect it will not be too long before EdgeRank goes the way of the Dodo. 

Posted on September 5th 2011 at 11:18AM

Google+ can be popular if it bring both professional & social  networking at top. There can be a competition among facebook, google+ & linkedin & users may like one or other. It depends on functionality & features of these sites that where users are getting attracted towards. Thanks for sharing this article with us.

Wesley Walker
Posted on September 8th 2011 at 5:35AM

Very nice post Sir! Thanks.

I'd like to offer to the individuals, content of products with use of Google,

with things running well. For this yes, I feel that these two, and Linkedln, can really get along!