Google's Quest For Social Media Holy Grail Redux

A lot has been written about Google and its unshakable pursuit of a means to integrate with social media. The blogosphere is especially cyberventilating this week due a FTC penalty ruling - ironically due to privacy infractions from Google's Buzz debacle last year - and its launch of a "+1 button" that operates uncannily like. . . well, a LIKE button a la Facebook.

The holy grail is a sacred object figuring into mythical and spiritual traditions identified with a cauldron possessing miraculous powers. Christian lore pertaining to Christ's Last Supper combine with Arthurian and Knights of Round Table legends that idealize a quest for only those who are the most worthy.

The graphic novel, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks" has satirized Google (aka Gobble) and its reach for the social media brass ring as a fruitless endeavor   - and that only Facebucks (aka Facebook) is worthy and should be considered the heir apparent to Supreme Leadership of the Internet. According to Z-Man (aka Mark Zuckerberg), Google lacks the social media gene.

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So when Google talks about a +1 button taking the place of Facebook's LIKE button - or at least giving it a competitive run for its money - we are a little skeptical of its chances this go-around (also see previous post, "Google Still In Search Of The Social Media Holy Grail").

Yet deep in the recesses of Google's "Experimental Lab," Dr. Googlestein is hard at work in creating its very own "wisdom of crowds" stamp of approval button. And while only working with 2 percent of the US population for testing purposes, when there is a full-blown launch of +1, the search giant sees themselves monetizing their button for all its its searches, in addition to offering it up to publishing sites.

According to AllFacebook, more significant is the fact that Google's own advertisements will now include the +1 button, making Adwords just as social as Facebook's advertising.

Since Google accounts for 50 percent of the Internet's traffic and Facebook has only exceeded them a few times in the last year, it is conceivable that Google has a chance at playing catch up. On the other hand, it may be a case of 'too little too late.' "Google has a long way to go before they put a serious dent in the massive lead that Facebook already has when it comes to measuring consumers' interest in content around the Web," says Nick O'Neill from AllFacebook.

With the FTC ruling against Google, Facebook might be a little more cautious in their treatment of privacy issues going forward, but its clear that, at present Zuckerberg and his team see Google in their rear-view mirror. The question is now - since Google has been put to the test (or quest as the case may be) - are they worthy enough to find the Holy Grail they have long sought or will the Sir Galahad of the next decade be awarded to Z-Man and his Knights of the Round Table (aka "dumb f*cks")?

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