Google is on a mission. If you have been in Siberia studying methane emissions from tundra ponds, you might not have noticed. Otherwise their incredibly aggressive nagging to get you to get a G+ account may have seemed like an ever present specter in your daily Google jaunt.
This nag, brought to my attention by Mike Ramsey, seemed particularly lame. Here’s the pitch with the benefits as to why you should join.
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Could Google have delivered any less on their promise of benefits?
Why this persistent (and often lame) nagging? What is Google’s agenda? Is it just another ham handed way to get you to use Google+ so that they have enough content to provide social search results and compete with Facebook?
No. They are not trying to convince you to use G+. That is not the “plot” here. A campaign to get you to post on G+ would look dramatically different. At this point, at least, they don’t really care if you never post on +.
If it isn’t obvious they are trying to get you to get a G+ login account. What’s the difference you ask? Google’s mission is to get full embrace of their single login logic, system wide social backbone. For the moment, that is a much more valuable “commodity” to them than 200 word Plus post here and there.
The benefits to Google (and to a lesser extent their users) of this plan are many.
- This will dramatically reduce the friction between their many products.
- Reduced friction will mean increased use across all of their product
- This increased use will in and of itself allow Google to better personalize your results and will provide increased search signals
- Google will be better able to manage and limit the impact of folks that violate their rules.
I am not saying they will never push users to G+, its just that isn’t what we are seeing now. Google wants to improve the stickiness of their site, reduce abandonment and increase pleasure. They are trading the short term pain of all the nagging for the hope that once they have 400 or 500 (or 800) million users securely logging in that cross product usage will increase, that spam will be decreased and users will be happier and more likely to use their product.
A regular user of Docs will now be able to leave a review without the annoying problem of having the additional step of getting a nickname. The regular user of reviews will now be able to more easily share that review on G+ plus. The regular user of YouTube might explore gmail more willingly. Lower friction means less abandonment, higher usage, more page views and greater user satisfaction (oh and more opportunity to show ad inventory).
There is a management side as well. Google doesn’t like spam. They don’t like fake 1+s nor do they like fake reviews. They just haven’t been able to do much about it, up to now. In the review environs Google was forced to remove the multiple reviews of an aggressive spammer, review by review. Google also doesn’t like the tedium of hand labor. With a G+ account, the reviewer can now be banned with the ease that in the past, only one review could be taken down. Their many reviews come down in one fell swoop and the user will need to build authority from the ground up. Over time that deficit will make a difference in Google’s ability to improve results for others.
This is not to say that they won’t some day try to “force” you to use the G+ social network. They may very well decide to do so. It just isn’t today. Today they just want you to get a G+ account.