Google’s Plus One Sub Domain now available to Australians
Last month we published an article on what Google’s +1 button means for Australian businesses, and now it is available to online Australians.
Google +1 is available under the sub domain plusone.google.com and web searchers are invited to create a profile which is essentially a means of presenting yourself on Google’s products across the web. Google Profiles are the search giants latest attempt to profile web searchers and it will enjoy some level of success. It’s unlikely it will ever rival Facebook from a user perspective but Google will probably be happy with subset profiles to start off with.
Building A Profile
Google Profiles are visible to anyone on the web and anyone with your e-mail address can find your profile http://profiles.google.com/yourname. Your Google Profile covers 15 different fields including occupation, employment history, education, places you have lived (with an interactive map).
The profile also includes an introduction which helps to distinguish you from others online with the same name and a section called ‘Bragging Rights’ which may also help to identify you.
Within the Google Profile, there are fields for Work and Home contact details including Phone, E-mail, physical address and more with options to restrict or enable who sees your contact information.
Photos and other information
There is also a scrapbook feature where users can add photos includes fields on relationship status and what you are looking for in a future relationship-status if applicable. Photos from Google’s PicasaWeb service can also be linked to your profile with security restrictions on who can view your photos.
What Do Google Profiles not have that Facebook do?
The ability to interact is missing. Facebook pages allow friends to interact with each other, post on each other’s walls; send e-mails; create groups and view what friends are up to through the news feed. This (currently at least) is not available with a Google profile – of course there is e-mail and means of contact through G-mail but Google’s attempt to profile users seems like a crude and direct information grab – which isn’t the way Facebook evolved and isn’t why Facebook is so successful.
What does this mean for Australian business?
As Google moves to a higher standard of search result quality, Profiles will become more important and the fit between searches and what profiled users +1 will become more advanced. Getting proactive now and encouraging customers to create profiles may strengthen your businesses position online – especially if distinguishing your website as quality is something you are actively pursuing.
It’s worth noting that Google Profiles and the +1 button can’t expect to be a match for Facebook and the Like button if they don’t fight on common ground.
We can only assume that what we are seeing at this stage isn’t the finished product. Perhaps Google will be satisfied with a low take-up rate and using whatever data they gather as a subset of internet users?
At this stage Google may be happy with even a small amount of data to create profiles of online users. They are likely to be acutely aware that developing profiles to the scope and depth achieved by Facebook is a long way off and at this stage anything would be better than their current position.
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