So far this week we have been treating the new Google+ (aka Plus) project like an Apple or CES event, with a number of interesting articles (see my Google+ profile). We do not apologize for this, as we feel that the 10 million users already signed up to the new social network will want to know the ins and outs. In this latest article we thought we would take a look at Google’s ad targeting, and how this will have a long-term effect on advertisers spending with Facebook.
Google do not care how they do it, as they will stop at nothing to do to Facebook what Facebook did to MySpace. Google+ aims to be very different to Facebook, and looking at some of the early features, it looks as though they have achieved just that. The search engine believes that they know what the user wants, and they will use this to influence how they will target ads.
If they manage to get this right, then they will be able to get more revenue from advertisers, which in turn means that they will eventually spend less on Facebook. SMH says that if Google+ is able to pull this off, then they will stop Facebook from muscling in on their search traffic – something that has been a real worry for them.
A brief glance at the two services show that the two are very similar in what they offer, it is not until you delve a little deeper that you notice the differences. A read of our feature on Circles will enlighten you on this very subject. Google+ is a long way from perfect, and has a long road ahead if they have any chance of toppling Facebook, but the tools are all in place.
Facebook is able to generate better revenue at the moment, as they know what people want thanks to a partnership with MSN. Google+ is unable to call upon that information at the moment, as they only have 10 million users, compared to 750 million users like their rivals. However, once Google increases its Plus database, they will then be able to use their search expertise to know exactly what you and I want, which is when they will begin to get a return on investment.
The key to earning more money from advertisers is knowing what the consumer wants, if their targeting is spot on, then the earnings will be much higher for Google. Having said that, Google need to get the balance right. Even though they offer a great service in the way of search, their main aim is to make money. We just hope that they do not force this on us in Google+, because the average social media user will not want to be forced into buying something.
We are not stupid, as we know that the likes of Google need to make money – as we do – but it is all about balance. If they get this right, then they are on to a good thing.