For the first time ever (or at least the first time I have seen in 7 years of working in online), Google have dedicated a section of their Search Homepage to something other than search. In trying to prove that if they want it, they generally get it (except in the well publicised failures such as Buzz, Knol, Wave and Orkut), Google are highly promoting Google+ even if it takes away from their Search effort.
Take a look at the Google.co.nz Homepage today:
We see that they have a share box on every page of the website – just as you can share/update your status on Facebook from anywhere on the Facebook site. They are really trying to make it a social experience, but they’ve got a long way to go in order to get anywhere near Facebook.
What really surprises me, however, is how far they are willing to go with this. As you can see from the screenshot below, they are even willing to compromise their revenue by having the share box cover the ads – look at the example below, Position 4 gets hammered! This intrusion extends to Google Maps, Image Search, Gmail and all the other Google properties I found, with the sole exception of YouTube.
I hate this intrusion and I’m still not convinced with Google+ but they’re obviously backing it – and in a big way. Don’t expect it to die as quick as some of their other flops above – so make it part of your Social Media strategy in 2012…