Google sees social networking sites such as Facebook as a challenge

Google sees social networking sites such as Facebook as a challenge

I suspect that Ken Tokusei is not a very popular chap over at Google Headquarters today. Ken is a Group product manager for Google and is credited with saying that Google sees social-networking sites such as Facebook as challengers to its search engine.

His reasoning goes that when it comes to getting advice online, social-networking sites hold the advantage. He said users tended to take their friend’s advice more when it comes to making a decision.

“We haven’t gotten to the point where results are seen as if they come from someone you know,” he said.

Ken’s comments make perfect sense. ‘Trusted’ sources such as friends, family or respected figures are always likely to hold more weight over certain decisions, certainly where a degree of qualitative judgement might be necessary. Typical examples might include recommendations around good local restaurants, schools or dare I say it – financial products.

Social networking sites, by their very nature, allow people to maintain a far wider group of friends in far more jurisdictions than has ever been possible before. It is now possible for online users to tap into pools of knowledge by simply asking people for their views on a topic, product or issue. The question for brands is going to be how can they ensure their products and services are the ones being recommended, particularly by ‘those people in the know’ (otherwise known as mavens). Brands that can develop strategies to engage with audiences and earn their trust and respect are likely to be the ones to benefit most. Social Media is here to stay. Brands that continue to sit on the sidelines need to wake up and smell the coffee – otherwise you might just miss that most important meal of the day….

No related posts.