Ever since rumors starting swirling at the start of the summer, Brafton reported that Google has remained mum about "Google Me" – the search engine's supposed upcoming social network. Online marketers may be interested to know that Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, offered TechCrunch a press conference in which he gave some candid insight on how the social side of Google (likely coming this fall) could improve search.
To start, Schmidt says Google views social "a little differently" from others. TechCrunch claims individuals who have worked on Google's social product say Google Me is less of a social site and more of a "social layer" that will produce an activity stream on all of Google's products – presumably including search.
"We want our core products to get better because of social information," Schmidt told the source. A conference attendee asked him if he believed internet users would create multiple social presences across the web and willingly give personal information to different platforms, and Schmidt's only response was to suggest that services will be better if identity information is available for companies to use.
Such information will allow Google to tailor its search results to give users the answers they want. Plus, marketers may like the ability to create web-based content optimized for Google based on the self-proclaimed interests of their target audiences. Brands could also get their ads displayed in Google results according to consumers' personal preferences – similar to the contextual ads offered by Facebook.
Many think Google is releasing a social component to try to dominate Facebook, which comScore reports has beaten out Google in terms of consumers' time spent on the site. Google is certainly letting the games begin by bringing in social game developers to work on Google Me, as Brafton reported in July. The company also acquired Like.com in August, and Brafton reported that the highly visual social fashion store may lend its services to a viable social feature.
Schmidt reveals that Facebook is on the mind of Google Me's developers. "The best thing that could happen is if Facebook opened up its network so that we could just use that information to improve our ads and our search," he said.
It seems Google isn't the only search service with this sentiment. As Brafton reported earlier this week, "like-based" results may be the next generation of search with several search engines showing interest in consumers' Facebook information. TheFind.com is now offering a social-based search option to users who log in through their Facebook accounts, and All Things Digital reports that Microsoft and Facebook may be partnering so that Bing can exclusively access Facebook's anonymous "like" data.