After looking at some of the lesser publicized recent moves by Google, in this post I want to turn my attention to other areas Google is already, or I think might soon, point their gaze. Similarly, Steve Rubel has also taken a look at Three Key Things Google Is Doing While We Focus On Google+. It’s a really smart post, I strongly recommend you take a read. In it he draws some interesting conclusions that reinforce my thinking on areas I think Google may move into. My thinking is predicated on Google’s “Search and Social” pincer movement. By staking out strong bases in both those areas, Google can now corral important areas, some big, some small but crucial, as they continue to gobble up people’s online time. These areas include:
Digital music is clearly a huge area, from iTunes and Amazon to Pandora and the recently introduced to America, Spotify. Well, Google isn’t going to be left out of this, Google Music is currently in beta.
And yes, it works on your Android mobile device.
2. Influence Ranking
The +1 button is gaining adoption across the web quickly. This makes an easy entry point for Google to create their own influencer ranking to rival Klout and PeerIndex. Once people like Rober Scoble, Chris Brogan and Ashton Kutcher realize that posting content to Google+ and getting +1s will significantly affect their Googlefluence (yeah, I’m totally trademarking that), Google can own the important online influence category. I think many people would see a Googlefluence score as being more credible than the others (and of course, other people would not). In all, they’ll create a virtuous circle in which people will be using Google tools and platforms to increase their scores.
3. Social TV
If I was GetGlue, I would be worried. With GoogleTV, Google’s search will be complemented by the social aspects of Google+. The next step is to add a further social layer a la GetGlue. Interacting with shows and brands via a GoogleGlue platform would provide Google with a rich data mine for advertisers.
4. Location Based Services – Google Places
Foursquare, Gowalla and even Facebook Places also seem vulnerable to me. Google Places just recently removed 3rd party reviews, putting a focus on Google-generated content. Will Google+ and Google Places see some integration soon?
When you add all these together, you can see Google really owning the content and connections people create and have across a wide swath. I didn’t even touch upon more business or institutional areas like medical or insurance records, finance, education or auctions to name a few.
Facebook launched a damp squib earlier this month with their product launch 2011 press conference, and I think they’ve really got their work cut out for them. Google might not have their auteur but they’ve got a lot of really smart people and the drive and focus of the Terminator. Don’t bet against them, at least not right now.