Google is the most innovative technology company of our times. It has led the way in new technologies on the World Wide Web from the day two entrepreneurs from Stanford University took it to the world. With applications like Gmail, Google Talk, Google Docs, Android, the Chrome browser, its search engine and more, it has shaped the way the world uses the World Wide Web. But today the world has gone more ‘social’ than ever and truth be told – Google is struggling to keep pace with the change.
Google Buzz, Google Wave, Orkut, Dodge Ball – Google has tried its hand at social media and social networking. But sadly it has not seen the kind of runaway success with which it has been associated in the field of technology. The reasons for this are many –
1. Despite the fact that Google has built various applications, it has mostly concentrated on search which is its USP. Like many others, it tried its hand in social media, but didn’t see the success it expected. Orkut is popular only in Brazil and India while Google Wave has closed down and Buzz has not seen much success either.
2. It probably was late in moving onto the social media scene as it initially played it down as a fad. But when a search was conducted as to how more people are spending greater time on Facebook than on Google, it got jittery and started taking drastic measures.
3. Orkut became really popular in Brazil and India. But sadly it hasn’t been able to be even half as popular around the world. And studies now indicate that Facebook is slowly but surely going to surpass Orkut. When Google realised this, it started added apps and also redesigned it. But again they were too late.
4. Google’s search is based on page rank. But today search has become social as more and more people are looking to their friends for views about different happenings.
5. One of the biggest things to worry for Google is the Bing – Facebook partnership which has resulted in Bing getting more and more search requests from the 500 million users while Google sits there and cribs over having missed such a huge population.
So what can Google do?
Google Me which is expected to be some sort of gaming social website can be its saviour. For this it had recently acquired ‘Slide – a gaming player’. But can Google fightback? You can write them out at our own peril!