When Will Google Get Into The Social Media Monitoring Business?

Google has long been the aggregator of data – from search to Google Analytics to Adwords/Adsense to their DNS project, the company has founded it’s business on knowing all. Given their history of “giving it away for free” and providing self-service products, the question is – when will they get into the monitoring business? Their history suggests it’s not too far off. Here are five reasons why we will see a free Google monitoring tool in 2010.

  1. They have the data. Google search, Adwords and Analytics can tell you almost everything you need to run a successful web business – from awareness to page rank and clicks to site visitors and purchase/abandonment, the current Google suite is unlike any other in the business.
  2. They have the resources. Unlike the monitoring startups, Google has money to spend and with the right investment (purchase, build) they can easily jump every company on the market. I’ve done several audits for clients and have used several monitoring platforms to tell you that they ain’t all that. And the best – BEST – sentiment analysis on the market is at about 80% for real time monitoring results. Which is great if you don’t mind being slightly above average.
  3. They’ve done it before. Google’s whole game is data and integration of said data. Google Analytics is the perfect example of a product they’ve built, offered for free and oh, by the way, lets them collect even more information. Just imagine if they allowed PR firms et al to input what their clients issues were? Now we’re talking about proactive and reactive information in real time that helps feed their machine. And don’t get me started on self-service cost per click ads. Who do you think made it accessible and brought it to the masses?
  4. It helps close the loop on social media measurement. This is going to be key for all of the reasons I mentioned above but ultimately it makes Google a CMO’s best friend. Let’s assume that 10% of Fortune 500’s have social media “figured out”, meaning they can track their spend against it to a measurable return. This puts the same power, metrics, algorithms and tracking into the hands of EVERY business. Game changer? You bet (Author’s note: This is the second time I’ve said ” game changer” in 2010. The first being around Google’s location based mobile search launch. I see a pattern emerging.)
  5. Microsoft did it. Yes, it sounds petty to think that Google would do something just because Microsoft did, but if you were at or followed Adweek NY you saw a demo of Looking Glass (disclosure: Publicis and Microsoft Ad Solutions have a relationship from the Razorfish acquisition) and how MSFT is looking to monetize software for the monitoring business. And it seems Google always has an answer to Microsoft’s products. Hotmail? Gmail. Office? Google Docs. Search? OS? Mobile? Contextual advertising? The list goes on and on.

All of this amounts to not an “if” but “when” Google decides to offer this tool. What do you think?

David Binkowski is a SVP at MS&L Worldwide and is on the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). You can follow him on Twitter at @dbinkowski, where he randomly tweets about marketing, being a father, sports and his animosity toward Andy Samberg and The Offspring. David is also a co-founder and blogger of the group Dad blog Every Other Thursday and once in a blue moon blogs on DavidBinkowski.com.

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  1. […] Google stands on the sidelines of social-media monitoring, but for how long? 5 reasons to expect a Google monitoring tool in 2010. […]

  2. jonathanzarov says:

    Agreed! While Google marches on, we in the listening space will continue to cultivate higher level analytics to uncover themes in the data. That's entirely different than monitoring, with more strategic than reactive value to business. We'll leave the Radian 6s of the world to fight it out with Google. Here’s a post Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights, wrote last fall. He too predicts that Google will own monitoring http://blog.networkedinsights.com/index.php/200

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dbinkowski: My latest blog post on @shamable: When Will Google Get Into The Social Media Monitoring Business? http://bit.ly/8GKzkD

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