I found John Battelle’s astute analysis of Google’s earnings call pretty depressing:
The lead quote had to do with Google+, pretty much, not the company’s earnings, which ended up being a miss (Google is blaming fluctuations in foreign currency for much of that, and I have no idea whether that’s true, false, or silly).
But here’s my question: When is Google going to release actual engagement numbers for Google+? Because in the end, that’s all that really matters. As I have written in the past, it’s pretty easy to get a lot of people signing up for Google+ if you integrate it into everything Google does (particularly if you do it the way they’ve done it with search).
But can you get those folks to engage, deeply? That’d be a real win, and one I’d give full credit to Google for executing. After all, it’s one thing to get the horse to water…another to have it pull up a chair and share a few stories with friends.
Battelle's Search Blog is a prime source for thoughtful analysis of what Google is doing, and there’s more in the post, Google+: Now Serving 90 Million. But…Where’s the Engagement Data!.
I found it depressing not because Google missed its earnings numbers and the stock sank 9% overnight (I don’t own any, perhaps to my detriment), nor because they are playing fast and loose with business disclosures (hardly a surprise), but because it signals to me that Google’s push to force users into Google+ will only intensify.
And I don’t like that at all.