Google recently announced a new service that is now available to all Google account holders. “Me on the Web” is supposedly a product aimed at assisting all Google users with the ability to more easily control their online reputation on the web via an easy to use interface that gives one the ability to receive alerts whenever their name or profile of some sort is mentioned. But in a recent post by Danny Sullivan, Danny reveals some interesting insights into what he thinks Google’s real motivation behind Me on the Web is.
Let’s start by taking a look at Me on the Web:
Now, the more tech savvy amongst us will be screaming out “what about Google alerts?” and the truth is, they have a point; Me on the Web is very much like Google alerts, but is far more accessible and easy to use. Below is a screenshot of the interface that comes with Me on the Web and the numerous options and filters that are available:
As mentioned above, Me on the Web enables users to more easily set up alerts to their account as well as suggest additional search terms that one might want to consider when setting up a system to manage their online reputation. In addition to this basic alert system however, Google has also created some useful links to a resources section that contains all the information one needs to bear in mind when stumbling across any malicious news or blog posts about oneself. Some of the ideas discussed in this resources section include basic search engine reputation management tips such as contacting a webmaster to request certain information be taken down, or the more complicated approach of search engine reputation management that involves writing articles of your own that could “out rack” the damaging posts that were written about you, thereby pushing them further down the results pages and making them less obvious to people searching for your name.
Now, let’s take a look at the REAL motivation behind this tool:
You need a Google Account to make use of Me on the Web. You also need a Google Account to make use of Google’s +1, personalized search and many other tools that come into play with Google’s social search. Now, getting everyone to “manage their online reputation” is a great premise to getting everyone to simultaneously sign up to a Google Account. The more people that have Google accounts, the more control Google has over the social profiles that they have such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. That’s essentially what it comes down to – control over social search. Google lost out big time when bing bought the rights to access Facebook data, but Me on the Web essentially enables users to manually link their Facebook accounts with their Google account, giving Google LEGAL access to a lot more of the information that Facebook has on users’ profiles than before.
BOTTOM LINE: With all this information, Google now has the ability to compete with bing and other search engines on a social level.