WOW, Talk about intense interviews…
I thought I knew my way around google. The interview just blew me away! FOAF, XFN markups, that is hot stuff, not many people are aware of its impact yet. Now that you put a copy of your course on the line, I bet folks will pay more attention to it.
So this is what I’ve got out of Kevin and Erica:
You know how everytime you sign up for myspace, facebook, bebo, digg, delicious, reddit, better networker, etc, you are asked to type username, password, and most social networks also ask you to allow access to your address book so they can find your friends that are already on the network.
This process creates multiple databases, that share similar information, due to users participating on more than one Network. With the Open Social, Open ID, and Social Graph API, Google plans on letting these websites draw information from each other, without having to hassle their users into giving the same data two or three times.
With the Social Graph API, Google already draws public data, but the evolution of that application will allow private info to be accessed by the networks as well. In the first phase of implementation, Google is running applications from inside the networks, as a regular user, to be able to bypass permission levels. The second phase, to be achieved within 12 to 18 months, is to actually build a somewhat centralized database, that will track users’ activity streams throughout ALL social networks utilized by the user.
The activity stream will allow users to update information in all social networks with one single entry. It will also allow the database to be updated constantly, as users add or modify existent content. With the installation of Open Social, Open ID, and Data Portability, our social networking time will be greatly reduced, and much more efficient.
As far as advertising and google ranking, what I could anticipate from the interview is that as Google builds this database, its crawlers are indexing social content, such as posts, discussions, comments, our “favorite movies”, “general interests” and everything else. As that indexation takes place, and we keep tagging our favorite content, as well as we better profile ourselves online, the concept of “Self-targeting” will ease ad orientation and display. AdWords users will be able to place highly specified ads into certain profiles, in only certain networks.
Also, as networks evolve, “influencers” separate themselves as content generators, traffic-puller users that, according to the Googlebot, will have a higher “social rank”, therefore being of more value to advertisers.
One thing Kevin mentioned was that a common MLM practice is to “take advantage of social situations and try to sell something”, as he explained, that is where marketers lose their social value.
I honestly can’t wait for that integration to take place. I would love to have all my social networks connected, it would improve my SEO margin and eliminate a lot of work. And the interview also reinforced the value-based marketing approach, where hard-selling has no place in a social networking environment.