Tag Archives: Google Plus

Forbes: 6 Months Later And Google Plus Still Sucks

Google+ wordmark

According to a writer for Forbes named Paul Tassi, Google’s latest attempt at social networking is still a failure. Mr. Tassi wrote about his dissatisfaction using Google Plus last year and he received some criticism from loyal diehards of the site – although most people would agree with Mr. Tassi’s observation that the site…well, sucks.

The Wall Street Journal a little while ago published an article claiming that the site is a virtual “ghost town” and users only spent like 3 minutes on the site per month. Of course Google denies this and released vague numbers to contradict any negative publicity.

Anyway, Mr. Tassi gave Google Plus some more time and a second chance to prove itself. He published another article today and he says that Google’s social networking site still doesn’t impress him. He wrote:

“…but I thought now was the time to revisit my thoughts on the site, quite a bit down the road. Over half a year has gone by since then. I’ve posted nearly every day to my G+ page, and have engaged others in conversation about many a topic… I still do not believe Google Plus is the social network it needs to be, nor do I believe it will ever pose a significant threat to Facebook in its current form.”

Mr. Tassi says that none of his friends use Google Plus and don’t seem like they ever will. His friends are using several other social media on the Web, including the red-hot Pinterest which I’m hearing a lot about lately. I think I remember reading someplace that Pinterest is credited for giving websites much of their referral traffic – far exceeding Google Plus.

Mr. Tassi believes that Google Plus appeals to a “niche community” of tech geeks and people who are in certain industries that find the site useful in connecting with the general public versus connecting with friends. Google Plus isn’t really a place you go if you want to connect with your close friends. He says that Google Plus is full of strangers who don’t comment much or engage with the site often. So even though he believes Google Plus isn’t necessarily a “ghost town” based on how you look at the numbers, it sure does give off the feeling that it’s empty and cold.

 I have posted an article on my blog calling Google Plus “pretentious” once. I actually think Google sells its social networking site as being a high-brow version of Facebook – as if Facebook is that place common folks exchange frivolous things with one another while Google Plus folks share more meaningful material. It’s typical Google arrogance.

Google’s social networking site does not look like it will get any better any time soon or ever. It’s been around for a long time now and the company has huge expectations for the site. Google desperately wants to see its struggling social networking site grow and become a success, there is a lot weighing on it. Yet even with so much invested in the site, Google cannot seem to win.

To read Paul Tassi’s full article, please click here

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Google Plus Ad Campaign Is Boring And Fails To Promote Struggling Site

Google really doesn’t “get” social. It seems to me that they lack the ability to understand how people want to connect and how they interact. Google executives like Marissa Mayer have admitted that Google has fallen behind in the social aspect of the Web and they are desperately trying to play catch-up.

Well, today Google UK uploaded a video on YouTube advertising the company’s social networking site called Google Plus. The campaign to get more people to use Google Plus doesn’t impress me much. Their video is titled “Google+: Tom” and it shows a man going through life on Google Plus. We see the man add his wife to his circles, it then shows the couple’s newborn child, and other significant moments in life. The video ends with a future look at the aged man as he reminisces about his youth with his friends in a video chat.

Sorry, but the video is so dumb.

I find it so pretentious, over-the-top, and confusing. I don’t like how the video doesn’t show the consistent and linear progression of the man’s life. In my first passive viewing of the video I got confused about whose life was being shared – the dad or the child? When it switches from the little boy in the green school uniform to the prom scene, I thought it was the little boy grown up ha-ha…but it was actually the dad.

I had to take a closer second viewing of the video to catch the stuff I missed.

Afterwards the narrator goes on about being a solider, being in a cannon, being a Justice, and a wise soul ha-ha. It finally ends with a corny aged look of the man with his friends, and he then adds his grandchild to his circles.

I know what this video is trying to be, but I don’t think it successfully accomplished it. It doesn’t pull on the heartstrings, it doesn’t excite me, and it doesn’t make me want to use Google Plus. I don’t think the video is mainstream enough and, quite frankly, it’s boring.

Also, I really don’t want Google keeping decades of personal data of my life  “well saved” on Google Plus. No thanks!

Now compare this video with a video uploaded by Facebook last year, which Google pretty much tried to copy. The Facebook video is so much better and gets to the point. Facebook’s video shows the life of a man from birth to present-day. It’s easy to follow along, it’s organized well, the music is energized, it’s fast paced, it pulls on the heartstrings, it’s funny, and it just works.

The Facebook video feels fun and fresh – while the Google video comes across as old and high-brow. Facebook is more inclusive while Google is more like an exclusive dull club for a particular type of person.

I’m gonna have to take pass on Google Plus – it just doesn’t do it for me.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Former Google Executive Tears Apart Company In A Candid Blog Post

English: Logo of the band Rejected Español: Lo...

James Whittaker is a former Google executive who recently left the company after he had enough of the downward spiral. Mr. Whittaker published a blog post this past Tuesday where he gives you the truth about what is really happening over at Google.

He was hired at Google back in 2009 when things were relatively still doing okay at the company – but after a few short years he knew he had to leave. He packed up his things and ditched Google last month. He gives his reasoning in his blog post titled “Why I left Google”. It’s an excellent post to read through and I urge you to read the whole thing for yourself (link is provided at the bottom). I will give you the highlights from his blog post accompanied by my commentary:

“…there is no drama here, no tell-all, no former colleagues bashed and nothing more than you couldn’t already surmise from what’s happening in the press these days surrounding Google and its attitudes toward user privacy and software developers”

  • Alrighty – no need to dig for dirt and get nasty. There is enough public BS surrounding Google that could fill a ton of books.

The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

  • Google has changed a lot over the years. It’s definitely not the same Google from a few years back – it’s now all about maintaining ad revenue. They couldn’t care less about their users. Google makes over 90% of its revenues from advertising – that’s about $40 billion every year. They make that money selling your personal information.

“Technically I suppose Google has always been an advertising company, but for the better part of the last three years, it didn’t feel like one. Google was an ad company only in the sense that a good TV show is an ad company: having great content attracts advertisers.”

  • It used to be that Google made a great product, users embraced it, and then advertising dollars came in naturally. Now the emphasis and number one priority is about figuring out how to get more ad dollars into the company and not producing great products.

“Under Eric Schmidt ads were always in the background. Google was run like an innovation factory, empowering employees to be entrepreneurial through founder’s awards, peer bonuses and 20% time. Our advertising revenue gave us the headroom to think, innovate and create.”

  • Sigh– All good things come to end eventually…

“But that was then, as the saying goes, and this is now.”

  • Okay….sigh….that was then and this is now!

“It turns out that there was one place where the Google innovation machine faltered and that one place mattered a lot: competing with Facebook…Like the proverbial hare confident enough in its lead to risk a brief nap, Google awoke from its social dreaming to find its front runner status in ads threatened”

  • Google was built up by the media for so long that it bought into its own hype. Google thought it was invisible – the king of the world. This all changed when the new kid arrived and now threatens Google’s ad revenue. Everything Google does now is centered on beating Facebook. Many Google employees have come out and admitted that there is an intense focus on beating Facebook at the company now. Google CEO Larry Page even said that if employees don’t like the new direction the company is going they can hit the road. Larry Page even threatened to cut off employee bonuses if they fail to beat Facebook – pitiful.

“Google could still put ads in front of more people than Facebook, but Facebook knows so much more about those people. Advertisers and publishers cherish this kind of personal information”

  • Advertisers love getting personal information about users because they can target advertisements at them. Facebook has a treasure trove of information. Google desperately wants personal data about its users now, which is why they introduced their new more intrusive privacy policy earlier this month. This is why they built their “social layer” called Google Plus. They want names, friends contact list, addresses, phone numbers, and other sensitive information from its users. If Google can successfully harvest personal data, they hope this will bring back advertisers. However, Google Plus has been a massive failure and Google is socially dumb.

Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong. Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+”

  • Basically, Larry Page’s obsession with beating Facebook destroyed the company.

“Officially, Google declared that “sharing is broken on the web” and nothing but the full force of our collective minds around Google+ could fix it.”

  • You gotta love the arrogance here. This is so Google ha-ha

“As it turned out, sharing was not broken. Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t part of it.”

  • If Google is not part of it, it must be broken! It must! It must! It must!!!!!

“A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice”

  • I don’t know a single person who uses Google Plus. If asked, they would respond by saying ‘WTF is that?’

“Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.”

  • LOL – I have such a funny mental image of that. A spoiled brat who finally isn’t getting what he wants.

“I don’t click on ads. When Gmail displays ads based on things I type into my email message it creeps me out. I don’t want my search results to contain the rants of Google+ posters”

  • You’re not the only person who’s creeped out by those targeted ads. Recent research conducted by various independent groups has shown that majority of Internet users hate them and think it’s an invasion of privacy.

“The old Google made a fortune on ads because they had good content. It was like TV used to be: make the best show and you get the most ad revenue from commercials. The new Google seems more focused on the commercials themselves.”

  • Google changed and it’s time that people recognize this. I too have moved on from Google and good riddance. Thank you Mr. Whittaker for writing the truth about a great company that once was – until money and power corrupted it. Google’s internal culture has changed so much so that its once passionate employees are plotting their escape. The company has also fallen in the hearts and minds of its users worldwide.

 For more information:

James Whittaker’s Full Blog Post – click here

Business Insider, “Google has strayed from its ‘core principles’” – click here

SFGate, “Google’s Focus On Beating Facebook Is Wrecking The Company…” – click here

Business Insider, “Larry Page To Googlers: If You Don’t Like ‘Search Plus Your World,’ Hit The Road” – click here

The Guardian, “TV ad revenue hits record thanks to Google...” – click here

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Google Fails To Convince The Public That Google Plus Isn’t A Failure

English: Google+ wordmark

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how Google’s latest attempt at social networking with the launch of Google Plus is a massive failure for the company. To catch up on that post, please click here

Okay, so yesterday Google responded to the embarrassing news about Google Plus by denying that it’s a virtual ghost town. Google vice president for engineering, Vic Gundotra, gave an interview with the New York Times. In this interview, Mr. Gundotra doesn’t really say anything new that we haven’t already heard from CEO Larry Page. I guess they haven’t learned from mistakes, so they will continue using the same lies to try to boost up their numbers. When one is desperate, they are willing to say and do anything.

Mr. Gundotra said that he has never seen anything at Google grow so fast as Google Plus. Hmm, perhaps – but has anything plummeted as fast as Google Plus? It’s true that Google Plus sign-up spiked by over a 1000% on the day of its public launch, but it soon almost completely died after a few days. After people satisfied their curiosity and saw that the product is absolutely useless, they hightailed out of there. It burned out so quickly.

Mr. Gundorta refused to give the New York Times any useful data that would indicate good health for Google Plus. He gave nothing to counter the Wall Street Journal’s reporting about the dismal user engagement on the site and said nothing about how people intertwine Google Plus has part of their daily routine.  This is what the New York Times wrote,

“About 50 million people who have created a Google Plus account actively use the company’s Google Plus-enhanced products daily, Mr. Gundotra said. Over a 30-day period, he said, that number is 100 million active users”

Google Plus-enhanced products”? WTF? What this means is that if somebody signs-up for a Google Plus account and that’s the only thing they ever do – it’s fine. As long as they are also still using other Google products and services, then it will still count as engagement on Google Plus. So if you use YouTube, you’re using Google Plus; if you use the search engine, you’re using Google Plus; if you use Gmail, you’re also using Google Plus.

Does Google think the public was born yesterday? Do you think we’re that stupid? Ha-ha. Only a really desperate company would try to boost up their numbers on a failed site by counting activity on a totally different site.  Just face it, Google Plus is yet another attempt at social networking that’s failed – and this one is a colossal failure.

Mr. Gundorta made sure to point out what Google is most proud of, which is “ad engagement” on all Google websites. He claims that socially recommended ads have a higher click-through rate, and this has been successful for Google. If a friend recommends a microwave to you, then research shows that you are more likely to click on an ad about that microwave. This is true; you are more likely take something more seriously if a friend recommends it to you. However, this doesn’t mean that Google Plus is successful in the least. All it means is that Google wants you to sign-up for a Google Plus account, give Google your friend contact list, and then start “+1-ing” (Google’s version of the Facebook “Like” button) anything you enjoy anywhere on the Internet. Those +1 buttons are pretty much everywhere. Google will then take that information and use it to serve your contacts advertisements. You basically become like a celebrity endorser of products – except you won’t have a multi-million dollar contract.

It’s so sad that Google cares so much about monetizing our personal information for huge profits and not, first and foremost, creating a great social atmosphere. Look, the reason why Google Plus sucks so much is because it’s a lousy product. Nobody I know uses Google Plus – nobody says “Hey, what’s your name on Google Plus? How can I find you on Google Plus? Let’s chat on Google Plus”. Ha-ha.

Google Plus is indeed a ghost town and nobody cares to ever use it. Even if Google can share your “+1s” with your friends to achieve higher click-through rates for ads – it won’t matter if there aren’t people “+1-ing” in the first place. Nobody is sharing anything on that lonesome site, which is why Google is hiding the real engagement numbers that matter.

Mr. Gundotra said,

“We have started the social engines at Google and we’re about to step on the gas”

Aww, how determined. Take your time stepping on that gas, Google. You already had about 9 months – take another 9 months if you must.

For more information:

New York Times, “Countering the Google Plus Image Problem” – click here

Mashable, “Google+ Enhanced Ads Are Up to 10% More Effective, Says Google” – click here

SFGate, “So THAT’S What Google+ Is Really About: Advertising (GOOG)” – click here

Atlantic Wire, “Google Fails to Convince People That Google+ Is Popular, Again” – click here

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Help! Google Has Fallen And It Can’t Get Up!

Can you hear that?

That sound…what is it? Oh, right! It’s the sound of crickets chirping.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal exposed embarrassing numbers for Google’s failed attempt at social networking. As a few of you already know, Google launched “Google Plus” last June to rival Facebook. Google Plus is pretty much a copy and paste of Facebook in the look and design of the site. Though, Google lacks many interesting features Facebook has and it lacks the gigantic numbers. While Facebook sits mighty high with over 800 million users from all over the world, Google Plus has a mere 90 million users (and that’s being generous).

You might think that 90 million is still pretty good – but is it really? It turns out that Google Plus may have managed to get 90 million users signed-up, but that’s just about the only thing most users are doing.

The engagement levels on Google Plus is quite pathetic – a dismal. It’s a virtual ghost town. The Wall Street Journal looked at statistics provided by comScore and saw that between September 2011 and January 2012 Google Plus users spent an average of – get this – three minutes per month on the site. In comparison, Facebook users spent an average six to seven hours on the site every month. It’s not even close.

Oh and do you remember Myspace – of course you do – well even their user engagement beats Google Plus by almost three times as much. Keep in mind that Myspace has an audience of about 27 million users smaller than Google Plus.

This embarrassing revelation serves Google right for lying. This is what happens when you try to boost up your sign-up numbers to give off the appearance that you’re successful, when you’re actually not.  In the first few days of its public launch, Google Plus spiked by 1,200% – but it quickly plummeted days later by 60%. Google loves to emphasize user count numbers to the media, but they are hesitant to disclose traffic numbers and the number of items people on the site share each day.

The CEO of Google, Larry Page, failed to tell the media the whole truth when he uttered this nonsense in January:

“Google Plus users are very engaged with our products. Over 60% of them engaged daily and 80% engaged weekly”

If journalists didn’t listen closely, they might have been really impressed with those numbers – especially considering that even Facebook doesn’t have over 60% of its users engaging on their site daily. If you noticed, Mr. Page said “our products”. Now, why would he bring up other Google products when the subject of the talk is supposed to be about Google Plus? Oh that’s right, it’s to bump up those numbers!

Google forces people to sign-up for a Google Plus account even when they don’t want it because Google thinks that if you use any one of Google’s products it means you want all of Google’s products. So if a person did a search on their search engine, Google will count that as engagement on Google Plus too –seriously haha. This is why their numbers are so bloated – it’s absolutely artificial and false. This is a great example on how Google misleads the public.

Even though everybody caught Google’s lies and exaggeration, Google still lives in its own little world. The vice president of product management for Google, Bradley Horowitz, said that “we’re growing by every metric we care about”. Ha-ha….okay…whatever dude….if it makes you happy.

However, not all Google employees are excited about Google Plus – at least not to the self-described “lowest leaf workers”. Steve Yegge, a Google engineer, accidently posted a 5,000 word rant ripping apart Google Plus and calling it a “pathetic afterthought” – ouch! Mr. Yegge inadvertently aired his frustration on his Google Plus page to all his followers when it was only meant to be seen by a few co-workers. He later apologized to his bosses – but he was just stating fact.

One of the things that frustrated Mr. Yegge was the fact that Google Plus fails to have good applications running on their site. Much of Facebook’s successful can be attributed to its games and apps – but Google fails big on this. Google doesn’t have nearly has much developed apps and the ones that they do have are showing underwhelming activity among users.

John Schappert, the chief operating officer of games maker Zynga, said Google Plus has “been slow on the uptick with users right now”. The company started offering games on the site since August 2011 and has seen nothing but disappointment. Zynga, however, performs very well on Facebook and they have a solid partnership.

But it isn’t just game companies that feel that users are not engaging with their applications, even companies who set up pages on Google Plus hate the site. Companies love setting up pages on Facebook so that people could “Like” their page and follow the messages the companies post. They love getting instant feedback from their customers and conversing with them. It’s a totally different story on Google Plus, though. For example, Intel Corp. has about 360,000 Google Plus followers who are quitter than a mouse – but the company has about 9 million fans on Facebook and you can’t get them to shut up.

Google Plus is a massive failure and its dismal record so far is even more pronounced because the company has a huge stake in its social networking site. That’s because Google is no longer just a place that sends you off to another site as quickly as possible – Google now wants to keep you on their site for as long as possible. Google is now known a “sticky portal”. It’s also one of the biggest reasons why they changed their privacy policy earlier this month. Google is on a mission to combat “the faceless web” (as a Google spokesperson admitted) and this means they want people sharing their personal information on Google Plus. If they could succeed in doing this, they could attract a lot more advertising dollars by selling your personal data. Advertisers love getting personal data so that they can target “personalized” advertisements at you. Google earns over 90% of its revenues from advertising. You are not Google’s customer, you’re Google’s product.

Google is so desperate to make Google Plus a success that they are even warned their employees that 25% of their bonuses would be tied to the success of Google Plus. I guess it’s more sleepless nights for those employees.

Google Plus is not the only failure for the company – Google’s other social networking site named Orkut is also underperforming. Before the launch of Google Plus, the company had Orkut and it used to do quite well in some countries around the world (although the vast majority of Americans never heard of it). Brazil has the fifth largest social networking population in the world and Orkut used to the number one destination for Brazilians – hmm, not anymore. Facebook has had a rapid growth of 192% yearly in Brazil. Facebook is now number one in Brazil, which is an upset for Google because most users of Orkut come from Brazil.

Other failures for Google so far include: Google TV, Google Music, and even its Chrome web browser has fallen recently.

Ah, karma – the beauty of it. Google has truly fallen in the hearts and minds of its users. Its days might truly be numbered.

For more information:

The Wall Street Journal, “The Mounting Minuses at Google+” – click here

MarketWatch, “Google’s arrogance exposed in Google+” – click here

BBC, “Facebook overtakes Google’s Orkut in Brazil – Comscore” – click here

Mashable, “Google Engineer Accidentally Posts Rant About Google+” – click here

PCMag, “Will The Real Google+ Engagement Figures Please Stand Up?” – click here

The Guardian, “Time spent on Google+ dwindles while Pinterest draws growing user interest” – click here

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Google Receives No Love From Their Peers And The Public

According to a recent survey of American adults, an overwhelming number of them do not approve of the personalization of searches and the privacy violations that result from it. Tech website, Search Engine Land, summarized the survey data produced by Ask Your Target Market, which was released in a report available this week.

The first question asked of those surveyed was to find out whether or not they used Google and how often they use the search engine: 38% indicated that they always use Google while others answered differently.

Now here is where it gets interesting, when asked if they like the idea of personalized searches and their personal information from Google Plus being used in search results, an overwhelming number of people responded negatively to it: 45.4% said they think everybody should see the same results, 39.1% said they were concerned about privacy, and only 15.5% approved of Google’s plans to decrease privacy and decrease objectivity in searches.

In another question to the participants of the survey, they were asked if they use Google’s social networking site called Google Plus (which is basically a copycat knockoff of Facebook): 60.4% said they did not even know what Google Plus was or indicated they were not interested in creating an account; 20.3% said they had an account created but hardly ever used the site; and finally only 19.3% responded by indicating they do use it.

They also asked them if they would use Google Plus if they knew their personal social information was going to be included publically in search results – the vast majority did not approve.  Interesting survey.

In other news, late last month, the tech community had their equivalence of the Oscars. The sixth annual Crunchies Awards brought together community members from Silicon Valley to pat each other on the back. There was much love to be exchanged – except for Google, which was shunned and in one incidence even booed.

Harris Whittels, who was the host for the evening, poked fun at Google. He put up a slide showing the logo of Google Buzz (Google’s failed attempt at social networking which resulted in lawsuits, millions in damages, and a 20 year consent order with the Federal Trade Commission for violating users’ privacy) crossed out and an arrow pointing to Google Plus.

The host went on to mock Google’s CEO, Larry Page, by comparing him to Siri (an intelligent software assistant acquired by Apple which can listen to your voice and speak back to you): “What’s the difference between Siri and Larry Page? Siri has a personality”.

San Francisco Chronicle’s article, “No love for Google at the Crunchies this year”, click here

Tagged , , , , , ,

Google Thinks It Can Solve Its Problems By Throwing Money At It

You have got to read this article detailing how Google employees are seeing the writing on the wall and are leaving their jobs to begin careers with Facebook: click here

CEO Larry Page is so desperate to beat Facebook that he is dangling bonuses over employee heads. If Google Plus does not work, employees can say bye bye to their bonuses. Ouch! Head over here to read more.

It does not seem like many people over at Google believe in their own product too much. Even top executives at Google do not use Google Plus – how embarrassing. It’s not just innocent Internet users who have to be tricked into and forced into using Google services, even Google employees have to be forced while kicking and screaming. Click here to learn more.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Google+ Traffic Falls 60% From Post-Launch Highs

“Traffic to Google+ spiked 1,200% in the first few days following its public launch Sept. 20, but has since plummeted by 60%, according to a report from a data analytics company.

Chitika tracked Google+ traffic before and after the social networking service opened its gates to all users.

“The data shows that, on the day of its public debut, Google+ traffic skyrocketed to peak levels. But, soon after, traffic fell by over 60% as it returned to its normal, underwhelming state,” Chitika says”

Read more here (www.mashable.com)

Tagged , , , ,