It’s not what you know, but who you know. And now Google wants to rank you based on who you know and how influential you are with them. Not everyone is equal. This is especially true in social networking sites. Where some are definitely more equal than others. They have more friends, they participate in more groups, they Digg more articles, they blog night and day etc. These influencers in turn drive more traffic to certain sites, cause people to watch more videos and in the overall scheme of things influence the options and thoughts of their friends to a greater extent than an average person.
According to Businessweek, Google now wants to rank everyone to see who is more valuable. The direct business impact is that Google can then charge a premium for ads on their profile pages. Below is an expert from this very interesting article. Google of course is mum on the details of this program.
Maybe it’ll be called your Google number. Google (GOOG) has a patent pending on technology for ranking the most influential people on social networking sites like MySpace (NWS) and Facebook. In a creative twist, Google is applying the same approach to social networks it has used to dominate the online search business. If this works, it may finally make ads on social networks relevant—and profitable.
Google declined to discuss its idea with BusinessWeek. But it is based on the same principle as PageRank, Google’s algorithm for determining which Web sites appear in a list of search results. The new technology could track not just how many friends you have on Facebook but how many friends your friends have. Well-connected chums make you particularly influential. The tracking system also would follow how frequently people post things on each other’s sites. It could even rate how successful somebody is in getting friends to read a news story or watch a video clip, according to people familiar with the patent filing. “[Google] search displays Web pages with the highest influence—it makes complete sense for them to extend this to online communities and people,” says Jeremiah Owyang, an analyst at Forrester Research (FORR).
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