Google’s latest foray into social networking is a must-win situation. As Jason illustrated last week, the world is watching to see how the search giant uses social data — particularly their own from Google+ — to adjust search engine rankings. With Microsoft working with Facebook to allow Bing results to include social data from its 700 million-plus users, Google+ is a make-or-break to hold on to SEO dominance.

But it’s not just how Google uses the social information it gleans that matters. It’s how many people will use it. My guess is that 50 million users or more won’t even be critical mass. It will take many more people and Google’s careful use of the social data to be successful.

But it must be successful. More on why in my car:

What do you think? The comments are yours.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Jake, the Neverland Pirate

    It is going to be hard to unseat the king from his throne. Facebook reacted quickly in changing its privacy features to allow users more flexibility in controlling who sees what posts in their feeds. The lack of that in the past, along with general FB burnout, and Google+’s very exclusive feeling beta roll out drove a lot of excitement. That has all died out though. Google+ doesn’t integrate with my Twitter account and all of the real action is still happening on Facebook. They are going to fail here.

  • Jeremy

    why does google+ a make or break moment for google. In my opinion google has set itself up as the leader in search engine and apart of what could be a new leader in the smart phone world. my understanding is that google+ will deal with some of the privacy issues that as a Facebook member i have issues with.

  • http://www.modeltrainhobbyist.com/ Lionel Bachmann

    I think if Google+ fails, then that will solidify Facebook as the king of social media. However, Google has too many resources, and is already integrating the +1 button. I think they are really trying to play it safe, to make sure this doesn’t become another failed project, before releasing it to the mainstream public.

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    I like Google + the most. If +1 works, it will not only improve search quality, but also make ads more engaging.

  • nance young

    Google + can be facebook and twitter’s competitor in time. I wanna trysocial media management in G+.

  • Pingback: Google Alert – Social media | Relativity Internet and Social Media Marketing Blog

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1340678256 Ardeshir Namazi

    I think Google already missed the boat with social media. Similar to what their search platform does for us, they should have just built another platform as our social media aggregator like what awesomize.me does -one page about me, my company, and solution offering that also include the link to all my other social media channel + the power of ranking I get from real people, my own trusted peers on all my social media channel. They should have just bought awseomize.me and put an end to their battle with bing and Facebook.

  • Anonymous

    It sounds bad, but I really hope they fail. Facebook was set up by college kids because they thought it’d be cool to talk to their friends. Google+ was set up by a corporation specifically to gain more Ad data. Facebook does this too, but it was an afterthought…merely used to fund their activities. Its a lot nicer than setting it up purely for money.

    Also Google is a really sinister company. I can’t believe they made those

  • http://traffikd.com social traffic

    Google has game.