Recently Eric Schmidt said “Google+ is doing better than I expected given the competitors in the market and the success [of Facebook]. Do I think it’s a success? Absolutely. Absolutely.” (TechRadar)
While they’ve had a large number of sign-ups how could it possibly be a success if nobody actually uses it? The reality is that Google doesn’t care if people post status updates on Google+ instead of Facebook. Google doesn’t care if the average time on site is a fraction of what it is for Twitter. What Google cares about is the fact that using the massive buzz around it they were able to get over 150 millions people to sign up and put in their information into their profile.
Google makes 96% of their revenues from advertising, and advertisers don’t care how often you post status updates – they just want to know who you are.
“Don’t you think that with Google Search – again I must stress with your permission – that Google will do a better job [if it knows] who you are and what you care about?” -Eric Schmidt
What does this mean for you? The ads across all Google products, which are already very targeted to you, are going to become even more targeted.
Google has always had somewhat of a problem with accurately nailing down demographic data since it was very reliant on predictive data. Now Google no longer needs to guess whether or not you are 18-25 working in the advertising industry, since you told them already. If you didn’t tell them they know enough about people visiting similar sites and conducting similar searches to create a look-alike model for you. This will give Google not only the highly targeted search data they are known for but more traditional metrics as well to take an even bigger slice of the advertising pie.
When clients have asked me whether they should be using Facebook or Google I have always said that it depends if you want to know advertise to people based on what they “like” or what they want. Soon they won’t have to choose.