Coffee Talk #403: Google+ vs. Facebook is About Search

It’s frustrating talking about Google+ with my friends in the videogame business. Most of them are missing the big picture. Most of them can’t think of it in terms other than Google+ vs. Facebook. Certainly Google+ competes…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the Yankees jobbing to Tampa Bay to stick it to the Red Sox, Facebook and Spotify sitting in a tree, or remembering your favorite indie-pop bands from 2001, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

It’s frustrating talking about Google+ with my friends in the videogame business. Most of them are missing the big picture. Most of them can’t think of it in terms other than Google+ vs. Facebook. Certainly Google+ competes with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It even competes with messaging services like BlackBerry Messenger and the upcoming iMessenger. While it’s fun for writers, analysts, and consumers to talk about these “wars”, that’s really not what Google+ is about. Ultimately, it all comes down to search.

Remember way back in 2007 when Microsoft invested $240-million in Facebook? At the time, Google was concerned about two of its biggest rivals teaming up. Remember earlier this year when Microsoft’s Bing search engine got a huge social boost powered by Facebook “likes”? That’s when Google’s biggest fears about the partnership were realized.

Although it has its fingers in many pies, at the end of the day, Google is a search company that makes the vast majority of its money serving ads. Google was not pleased that the most popular social network in the world was helping Bing serve up more relevant results and serve more relevant ads. This is what Google+ is really about — the socialization of Google search.

As someone with nerd friends in Silicon Valley and the videogame industry, I have a lot of friends and acquaintances that actively use Google+. More importantly, they actively use the “+1” buttons found on numerous articles. When I search for something on Google that’s tech or game related, I usually see articles that my friends have recommended. This is enormously powerful! I’m more likely to click on a link that my friends recommend than one without that seal of approval.

While some people at Google would love to see the Google+ installed base surpass that of Facebook’s, I’m sure that most don’t see it as a realistic possibility. I’m also sure that a lot of them don’t care. This is not a head-to-head race. Google+ is growing at a rapid rate, as is the use of “+1” buttons. Google executives are just fine with collecting more user data, making search results more socially relevant, serving up more relevant advertising, and swimming in ad dollars. That’s way more important than getting into a numbers contest with Facebook. I’m just surprised that my gaming friends don’t get that.

I’d love to hear what you think of the Google+ vs. Facebook “war”. How do you feel about the socialization of search? Do you want the search algorithm to do all the work? Or do you like having your friends influence your search results?

[Also, don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine click on the +1 button for any articles you enjoy. It really helps!]

Author: RPadTV


  • lceman

    Well, I would argue with you that it's not about the "searches", it's about the money. It's always about the money. Think Tony Montana: "First you get the money, then you get the searches, then you get the women." Eh, close enough.

    Obviously, the more people they get searching (or YouTube-ing, for that matter), the more they can milk out of advertisers. But the search is simply a means to an end… to get people's eyes on their ads. They've utilized the any product they can get their hands on to further this concept (like You Tube). Facebook's model is similar, but different because it relies on user-supplied personal information. Teaming up with Bing would scare Google because it threatens to take eyes away from their ads.


  • lceman

    Ultimately, I do not believe it is about "searches", but about who can get the most eyes on the ads they are sporting. Eyes = money in terms of those sweet, sweet advertising dollars they love to swim in. So it doesn't matter if Google starts it's own gaming site, or Facebook starts to stream movies onto your Xbox, because it is all about who can get more eyes on their ads. The product (or means of how they accomplish this) is irrelevant. It can be anything. It just so happens that searches are probably the easiest way to get a lot of eyes and it has the added bonus of doing specific, target marketing by what the user is searching for.


    • I didn't think that needed explaining. I said earlier that Google makes the vast majority of its money from advertising. Relevant search results and relevant ads are why Google is successful.

      • lceman

        I was explaining it to the kiddies that may be new to this site. Sorry for breaking the fourth wall.


      • Like She-Hulk of Deadpool?

      • lceman

        Like Ferris Buler.


  • BigBlak

    I'm feeling G+ over FB simply because with G+ it feels like I have control over what I see and who I interact with, just like real life.

  • Smartguy

    I have no dog in this fight. I don't use FB or G+ for a news source. They are simply tools to send messages to people. In fact, my FB account is used to communicate with a softball team.

  • N8R

    I'm gonna say FB, but only because Big Blak said G+.

    It's a political stance I need to take in light of our ongoing feud.

  • Have a few stories on the Amazon Kindle Fire and would love your thoughts on them if you don't mind visiting Padvance.

    Amazon Kindle Fire Specs

    Amazon Kindle Fire Image Gallery

  • Thundercracker

    haha@the boston red sox



    • BigBlak

      HAHA! Don't be sorry I don't really care.


  • BigBlak

    These games on G+ are really addicting, I recommend them if you need to kill some time.