By Mike Knorr
This battle was won before Google +1 ever existed. Mark Zuckerberg knows the importance of being first. Ask the Winklevoss twins how important they believe being first is. When the like button was released in April 2010 Zuckerberg expected it to serve 1 billion Likes on websites in 24 hours. Since then, the Like button has been added to millions of websites across the globe. With those statistics under Facebook’s belt, Google has failed to keep up.
Google currently offers the +1 button to users who are logged into Gmail. Currently, Google’s +1 button is only available in the search results. The problem with this is that most users will not recommend a product they don’t know. First, a user searches for a product or service. Second, they visit one of the top search results that looks most appealing. When the user visits the page to learn about the product and service, they don’t click the back button to return to the search page just to click on the +1 button. They most likely clicked on a Like button already on the webstie instead. Google eventually plans to give option to embed the + 1 button on websites to compete with Facebook. But what incentive does a user have to press that +1 button?
The Like button enables the user to subscribe to website updates via Facebook and will let their friends know what products, services and brands they endorse. Google however will be compiling all of its users +1s on Google Profiles. When was the last time someone read a Google profile? It’s very unlikely Google’s +1 button will catch up with the Like button’s popularity unless Google can provide a worthwhile incentive for people to actually use it.
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Bing recognizes the Like button’s popularity. They didn’t invent there own “A+” button now did they? No, Bing has now implemented Like button data into its search, which they call Social Search. To social search on Bing all you have to do is login to your Facebook account and give Bing’s app permission to access your basic information.
Why does Bing offer this and Google doesn’t? Facebook is probably more willing to work with Bing simply because Microsoft has a decent amount of Facebook stock and Google is a direct competitor. That couldn’t be it could it?
Something interesting I noticed was if you search “seo company” on Bing using social search and have friends who like the Facebook Page, “That Company” will actually show up in the social results due to the fact that its listed with www.SEOCompany.com as one of our websites in the info tab. This also works for a search for “That Company,” “PPC Management” and “Rep Management.”
My concern is that by pulling this information from the info tab, a page with a lot of Likes could manipulate the system. What do you think? Do you believe that your friend’s Likes should be weighed into your search results? Are Bing results that include your social circle more relevant? Let us know in the comments below.