After comparing new and upcoming features between Google+ and Facebook, it looks like they are going in the same direction. By using all of the connections you have made, according to the social graph, “Facebook wants to take everything you do online and put that onto Facebook.” They are creating remarkable search options for users within its own community through a new tool called Graph Search. It allows people to search relevant content as it relates to the connections they already have on Facebook. By partnering with Bing, it is assumed that Facebook wants to eventually let their walls down to allow users to access content outside of the Facebook confines. Google+ already has this in place. Because they began as a rich search environment, they only had to step up their social game. They have already nearly caught up with Twitter in the number of active users. Although they have smaller numbers than Facebook, those who participate on Google+ are actively engaging with more relevant content.
Google has already merged their social side with their search side with Search, plus Your World. In addition, their authorship program can now link a user’s website with their Google+ profile. Keep in mind that “if you connect a Google Plus page to your website this will increase the relevancy of your website content and support your search ranking”. This alone, puts Google+ ahead of Facebook. Creating authorship with WordPress.com, for example, is extremely easy. I thought it would be difficult because you don’t have the ability to really modify as much with WordPress.com as you can with WordPress.org. Simply follow the instructions to connect your Google Plus profile, and voila! You can also sign into your WordPress account with your Google login to create your authorship connection. This means “the articles you publish will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically.”. If setting up authorship on a different website, you just need to embed the code in your site. As long as you put out good content, you can appear high in Google’s search results. This positioning doesn’t quickly disappear, like it does with Twitter. It can stick around for many months.
Recent changes to Facebook have made it more challenging for company pages to appear in the users’ news feed. If a brand wants to stay in the feed and increase its likelihood for engagement, it must consider the factors in the Facebook algorithm that make up their Edgerank. Things to consider are “Affinity, Weight, and Time Decay”. Once you know what types of interactions will increase your Edgerank, giving your page more visibility, you can tailor your posts around your audience to “spark massive engagement”.
Whether you choose to focus on Google+ or Facebook, or both, you can’t afford not to post images. Facebook has changed their format, allowing for larger images as an option for advertisers. Google+ recently moved from a single-column layout to a three-column layout. That combined with a photo-enhancement feature is a great example of how “Google Plus has decided to make the most of visual content in its platform”. Your posts and content have to stand out and they’ve both enhanced the platform allowing you to do just that.
As of right now, Google+ is way ahead of the game as far as structure is concerned. Facebook will eventually try to accomplish what Google+ already has in place. It will be very tough competition once they do. The way Google+ works together with search and social will only improve. Facebook can definitely capture a much larger audience within their community, but Google+ cannot be beat as a search engine that is becoming even more integrated into a content-driven world.
Questions to consider:
1. Do you think Google+ is more powerful than Facebook at this time as far as its structure is concerned?
2. If Facebook utilizes Bing to power its searchability, will it ever come close to Google+?
3. Do you think people will turn away from Facebook if it slowly lets down its walls to allow more outside information to be available to its community, or will people see this as an added value?