Google’s Christmas Wish List

What do you get the search giant that has over 50 percent of the market? Well, having over half of the search market cornered doesn’t mean that you have everything. And even though most of us can’t afford anything that Google would appreciate, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few things that Google really wants (or needs).

A Social Strategy

2010 hasn’t been easy on Google’s social life, and the search giant is still in need of a viable social strategy. Specifically, Google had high hopes for two products, and while one fizzled into some terrible embarrassment, the other still hasn’t made it out the gate.

Holiday Buzz

First off, 2010 was the year that Google launched Buzz – its take on a Twitter-like/status update product. Right off the bat, Google was accused of Facebook envy. But things got hairier when they were hit with a lawsuit for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). It would end up costing them $8.5 million to settle that suit.

Also, throughout the year, rumor mills buzzed with hearsay of a social product called Google Me. Finally, in September, Eric Schmidt confirmed that Google Me was real, would consist of a “social layer” that will be applied to existing Google services, and would launch in Fall 2010. But in November, it leaked that Google Me wouldn’t be ready until 2011.

So if you’re looking for a thoughtful, much needed gift to get Google, and you happen to have a blend of genius, foresight, and billions, you might consider handing them a viable social product with a pretty red bow on it.

Peace On Campus

Credit: Callie Roberts

It seems that Google is having trouble at home, and that those troubles are affecting its performance online. Specifically, its internal squabbling may be a significant variable of what’s holding it back from the social space.

Just this month, reports surface that it’s been political infighting that’s held back the development and launch of Google Me. Rumors ranged from unhappy developers to internal confusion.

At a company renowned for inspiring creativity and innovation in its employees, this kind of internal discord can hinder more than a single product launch. It can change the company’s culture and condemn it to mediocrity. So if you want to get Google something really personal, you might consider bringing them a little peace on campus and goodwill toward geeks.

A Daily Deal Site

Daily deal sites are another cash cow that Google missed out on. But this time, Google had the good sense to not try and launch one of their own.

On November 29, rumors surfaced that Google was trying to acquire Groupon for $2.5 billion. Only four days later, confirmation leaked that Groupon rejected Google’s offer, and that rather than $2.5 billion, the search giant had offered a whopping $6 billion.

Daily coupon sites might very well end up being the PPC of the future, and Google has noticed. After all, their cash cows that are incentive driven and based on location and social networks.

But since Google doesn’t have a good track record outside of search and has already been embarrassed by Groupon’s refusal to sell, they can’t actually launch their own. So a daily deal site would be the perfect gift form a rich uncle with a few billion kicking around.

More Page Views

When you’re part ad network, getting page views for Christmas is liking getting a wad of cash in your stocking. It’s not all that personal and thoughtful, but it sure is appreciated. But in Google’s case, it would also regain the search giant a bit of status.

In early November, Hitwise reported that in the week ending November 13, Facebook received more than double the page views (in the US) of both Google and YouTube combined.

As embarrassing as this is for Google, the company remains stable, earning more in Q1 than Facebook is expected to earn all year. But with the way things are going, that can’t last forever. So if you really want to give Google something to help them ring in the new year on an optimistic note, get them a way to attract more eye-balls and earn more cash.

Access To Facebook Data

Finally, there’s one thing on Google’s Christmas wish list that stand above all others. It would help them immediately boost their page views and revenues, and negate or (at least) stall the need for all the others — and that’s access to Facebook data.

Credit: Paul Butler

With access to Facebook’s data and content, Google could establish our dependency on search for years to come. As one SF Gate commentator put it:

What scares Google about Twitter and Facebook is that people are using them to share links, “like” web pages, and favorite tweets. People are using Twitter and Facebook to say what they think are the most important things on the Internet.

Because Twitter and Facebook are black boxes Google can’t crawl, it no longer has access to anything close to 100% of the best meta-data available for sorting and organizing the Internet.

If Google had that data – and if it its users felt they needed to set up Google accounts – it would be able to offer better, more personalized search. It would be able to recommend content and Web pages to its users without asking them to search.

Google doesn’t have that data and at from it’s very highest levels on down, the company is worried that its search will slowly become a less important tool for navigating the Internet.

So with access to Facebook’s data, Google could access the content its being denied, cross-reference Facebook user-data with Google accounts, and offer a search experience so personalized that we would rarely stray in our search for something.

About CT Moore

A former Staff Editor here at, CT Moore is a recovering agency hack with over a decade experience leveraging search, social media, and content marketing to help brands meet their business goals online. He currently provides digital strategy consulting to start-ups, SMBs, enterprise level companies through his consultancy Socialed Inc.. CT is also an accomplished blogger and speaker who educates groups and companies on how they can better leverage different online channels.

2 Responses to Google’s Christmas Wish List

  1. Pat Grady says:

    CT, you been drinking some Christmas cheer early… how in the world could you have left the TV reach off of their wish list?

    • CT Moore says:

      I think that still off a few years. For example, Google needs a social strategy right now, today. They still have a few years to figure out TV reach. Internet TV hasn't hit critical mass yet, so Google still has time to fenaggle something.

      But yes, you have a point. Google would most certainly put TV Reach on their list.