Facebook vs. Google+: Who Will Take the Crown?

Facebook_vs_G+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.

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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?

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12 thoughts on “Facebook vs. Google+: Who Will Take the Crown?

  1. I think in the general public’s mind, Facebook is more powerful socially and Google+ is seen as “dying out.” I think that’s because people see them as equals when they are not. Facebook is more like a party while Google+ is more like a high-power business meeting However, maybe it’s a good thing that many don’t see Google+’s power yet. That way, those that do see it will be ahead of the curve.

    If Facebook decides to “let its walls down,” I’m not sure many people will like that. I know nothing we do on social channels is truly private these days, but I wouldn’t want my statuses and check-ins to be searchable on Bing.

    1. Amanda, I think it’s great for those of us who see the power of G+ and are starting to use it. I already feel like I joined in the middle of a conversation. The groups I’m following are really involved and are posting great information!

      I also don’t want any of my information being made public. I feel like I always have to check my privacy settings and tweak things with so many changes occurring.

  2. I think that Facebook is used a fun site for friends and family to connect with each other. Google+ is used more in a professional way for the business world to connect with other working professionals or businesses. I think that Facebook is definitely seen as more powerful, but I think that Google+, if used correctly, holds more power for businesses to connect with their audience with features on Google+ such as the hang out session. I do agree with Amanda that people view Google + as less important that Facebook. I also agree that if Facebook lets the walls down, that may deter people from wanting to post personal information on Facebook.

    1. Casey, I think the power of Google+ goes way beyond tools like Hangouts. The power lies in the searchability of everything that you post through G+. Many people aren’t aware of that power. Socially, it’s definitely not as popular but I don’t think any business can afford to ignore G+.

  3. Hi Erin,

    I think that Facebook is still seen as being more powerful. Even though there are a lot of great reasons that socially might have Facebook in the lead, Google+ has created a structure that incorporates searches in a way that will only enhance their platform. I can see that Facebook may try to come close to Google+, but honestly I don’t see Bing coming close. I think it is a great concept, but I don’t think it is feasible. People use Google extremely frequently, it has a great reputation for working well and people like how easy it is to use. When it comes to Facebook letting down its walls, truthfully, even though it is the internet, people believe they should have privacy. People who don’t care about their privacy might be fine with opening up to the community, but people who have a firm belief in their want for privacy might end up leaving Facebook entirely. Great post!

    1. I agree that Bing will fall short as they try to mimic Google. Google has been around successfully for too long and people automatically think Google when they think about searching the web. That’s why they say, “I’ll Google it!” I know a ton of friends and family who will leave Facebook if privacy becomes more of a concern. My husband already talks about closing his account. As of right now, he’s too hooked but I can see that switch potentially flipping if Facebook goes too far.

  4. How are you measuring “powerful?” Facebook is still the king of the social graph and of engagement. Google+ does not touch them in that department. But if you’re focusing on search traffic, it’s similarly not a competition. Posting on Google+ allows your content to be indexed in Google. And if you can get people to circle you/your brand, then your content really starts to rise to the top.

    The next few years of social are going to be really interesting mostly because people are finally starting to learn enough about these platforms to create a genuine strategy. Social media is still so “young” that we just test out theories and try to guess what works. With more data and analytics, it’s becoming more of an art and science with each passing day.

    1. I don’t think you can beat Facebook as far as social influence goes. When I say “powerful”, I’m referring to the structure that Google currently has in place for search. The fact that you can feed all of your content, including social accounts through Google+ is huge. People might stumble upon your Facebook account because you mention it in a blog, for example. Where Facebook allows your to search within their community, Google goes way beyond that and can also include information you have on Facebook. It can be content found through Google that brings someone to your Facebook page. From there, we see the impact of social influence.

      I agree that it’s an art and a science. Companies have to pay attention to every cause and effect when they try new methods for reaching their audience.

  5. I think Google+ can be more powerful at brand-building than Facebook if used properly. With that being said, I don’t think people are currently using it properly right now and Facebook is still more powerful and influential. We as students can measure the engagement with Facebook much easier than we can with Google+. It’s difficult to say “my business traffic increased by this much because of Google+,” where it might be easier to say that with Facebook.

    I think Facebook is already letting down it’s walls and people aren’t realizing it. With follow buttons on all profiles and not giving any notification on who is following you, people can get just as much information as if they were a Facebook friend. Facebook changes their privacy settings so often that it’s difficult to keep up. You might miss something in the privacy settings and more people are seeing your posts than you would like. I also think that letting friends of friends comment on status updates is letting walls down significantly. I haven’t heard a big volume of people leaving Facebook because of these things, but it’s most likely because these settings changes happen in small amounts. If all of these things happened at once, I think there would be a much bigger fallout.

    1. Steven, I didn’t even know people could follow you without you knowing. I need to look into that further. That terrifies me on a personal level. Why even have friend requests? We may see people leave the platform eventually and start their own private blog to stay in touch with real friends and family. I am actually thinking about that for myself (business aside).

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