Google being crafty to push Google Plus

You have to give the folks over at Google credit. They might have been slow out of the blocks launching their social media site Google+, but they’re doing everything they can to make sure it takes off now – and not everyone is pleased about it.

On Thursday Google CEO Larry Page laid out his company’s earnings picture, and at the same time bragged that Google+ has more than 90 million registered users. That’s more than twice the 40 million users Google reported in October.

“We’re very excited about the growth we’ve had, and we’ve certainly seen a tremendous number of people added every day,” Page said during the presentation.

It took Facebook almost four years to reach the 90 million user mark, but at the same time Facebook now boasts over 800 regular users. So Google Plus has a long way to go to catch up – which is where the creative tactics come in.

Since launching the social network last June, Page said they’ve added on average one new feature every day. Clearly they are working hard to make the service worth using, and trying to drive up the number of users by offering a valuable service.

But as IT Gawker noticed, now new Google users who sign up for any Google property are also required to sign up for Gmail and Google+ at the same time. Want access to Google Docs? You’re a member of Google Plus.

And while it might be possible to overlook forcing one free account on people who sign up for any Google account, messing with Google’s search results is more worrisome.

The folks over at Search Engine Land took an in-depth look at just how far Google is going to inject Google plus results in the results of your standard search. As the article points out, this can be a fairly useful feature – but it is interesting that other social media results appear to be taking a back seat to Google+ results.

Clearly Google is a serious player in the social media marketplace, and clearly their efforts to expand the user base of Google Plus are working. What will be interesting to see is just how far they can push these efforts without irritating potential users and driving them away.

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