After a tweet sent out by Digg founder Kevin Rose last week all of a sudden there is another ‘buzz’ (no not the Google one) going around the web about the newest feature in the battle between Google and Facebook. Where Facebook last week announced they were going into search (more on that in a different post), it is now suggested that Google is going into social (again).
Rose’s tweet suggested there might be a “Google Me” on the way. What “Google Me” exactly is, is not clear yet. Google so far hasn’t given any official comment on the rumor. Which off course makes everyone believe its real. On TechCrunch Adam D’Angelo, an ex-Facebook CTO, was quoted saying that the rumors were true and that Google was going after Facebook. On the other hand Kevin Rose already deleted his tweet, which makes the rumor even more strange.
Three things come to mind when you read all the comments and suggestions out there: What is it and (for God’s sake) why does Google go in to the social business again. And finally: what should “Google Me” be?
Lets start of shortly with the second question. The “Why”. I think many will be surprised if the rumor turns out to be true. Google hasn’t really got a good track record when it comes to social efforts. With the latest ‘failure’ Buzz in mind you’d think Google would think twice before trying to launch another social networking effort.
I think the “Why” here however is not that Google wants to battle Facebook over the social network area. I believe its more than that. Google is looking for more data. More personal data. All the search engines are aiming to grab the user intent. If they know to set up a “Google Me” (I’ll get to the what in a minute) as a great profiling area they will get even more data than they already have, on the individual surfer. Which means they can make the search results even more personal.
But now for the what. It was suggested that “Google Me” would be an upgrade to the already existent Google Profiles feature. That makes sense. If Google wants more data thats the way to get it. So that will probably be what “Google Me” is all about.
What is should be
But we can talk all about what its going to be. Lots of sites are doing that. The rumors about “Google Me” however triggered something which has been on the back of my mind for months now. What “Google Me” (though I originally figured this would somehow be a “Bing-thing”) should be for me is the profile on the web which you want people to find if they are looking for you.
If you do a search for my name now you get lots of different results. You get my personal sites, you get State of Search, Searchcowboys, Searchengineland, my Twitterpage and much more. It kind of is my profile in one page. The thing is, I can’t really ‘manage’ that profile really easy. Yes, I have some (SEO) influence, but wouldn’t it be nice that if on the top of every search for a name there would always be a profile page for that person? A search result could look something like this:
That profile page should be managable by the ‘owner’ of that name. In the profile page there should (or could) be links to all the other sites and places that person ‘owns’. Links to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and more. A quick overview of what that person is all about.
Yes, I realize that there are some issues to be dealt with. Like what if there are 100 Bas van den Belds or even 1000? Still, I think here’s an opportunity to get into the people search, combined with social for the bigger search engines. And if this is not what “Google Me” will be, then I suggest “Bing Me” should be on the way… What do you think?