A recent announcement within Google has strengthened the apparent link between the search engine’s plans and social media. Reports of a company-wide memo about staff bonuses emerged this week, and the new bonus system has set Silicon Valley abuzz.
The memo, which links staff bonuses to performance of Google’s strategy, shouldn’t really come as much of a shock, but the wording has made a few SEO eyebrows raise. The memo mentions the need to ‘integrate relationships, sharing and identity’ across the range of Google products. This has been read by search engine optimisation commentators as ‘get social, or lose your bonus.’
The change in bonus strategy isn’t as dramatic as some would make it out to be. Aside from the fact that all Google’s companies tie bonuses to the achievement of yearly outcomes, the bonus memo mentions cutting bonuses down to 75% if Google’s social plan isn’t successful, and increasing bonuses to 125% if everything goes well.
What the memo does indicate is Google’s increasing desperation to get to grips with social media and the internet. The search engine company has suffered a number of setbacks since the social revolution, and has yet to come up with a single product that captures the zeitgeist of social media. The company’s answer seems to be to work sociability into everything, and this may be successful.
For the many watchers in SEO, however, this development confirms just how important social media is to a website’s success. Whether you’re a London investment broker or a Wirral housebuilder, social media should figure in your plans.