News & Analysis

Why Google’s People Card Can Be Totally Useless

Image Courtesy: Google

An entrepreneur seeking investments received a suggestion to create a digital persona so that it would help the world find him. So, he went about the usual way – of creating a LinkedIn account, having a more-than functional website with social media thrown in and paid adwords promotion to catch the eye of those that matter. 

However, nothing much changed and that exasperated entrepreneur turned around to his team and asked, “When I look at profiles on LinkedIn, all profiles claim to be the next best thing after sliced bread. If this were true, India shouldn’t have a paucity of trained professionals.” This irate comment merits another look, especially in the light of how the world is going even more digital. 

Imagine what this digital world could look like once more people take up Google’s latest offer of creating virtual business cards for its Search. If this is the first time you’ve heard of this move, I suggest you go through their blog here. In case, that’s too boring, you could get the crux of the matter by clicking on this story, which was done by our team as part of our managed services. 

In a nutshell, here is what Google is offering: Sign up with Google and get a virtual visiting card that can highlight all your digital assets, social profiles and other stuff. In other words, if you do all of this, Google will ensure that its algorithm throws up your reference if someone happens to do a name search. 

Sounds like a good plan? Well, methinks this is just another way Google is attempting to secure your data on their servers. Because, there are bound to be many folks with the same name, so it is obvious that a search for my name will throw up several others. And how does Google plan to manage ambiguity? By throwing up multiple modules and asking users to find the right one! 

Which means you’re back to square one! Unless, of course, you’re in the habit of sharing notes in general via a blogpost or the occasional one on LinkedIn. Of course, just penning one’s thoughts may not suffice as most search engines go after the accompanying shebang such as number of likes, shares and other stuff. 

So, while one may create virtual visiting cards, the only way that a serious entrepreneur could differentiate from pretenders to thought leadership is through the quality of content that she or he shares. And there are other non-tangible benefits that accrue as well. Here are a few that I could think of on the spur of the moment: 

  • Writing down one’s thoughts, one gets more clarity. As an executive coach, I have often encouraged my clients to write down their thoughts. It helps clarify things to oneself and concomitantly to others as well. The premise is to de-jargonize ideas so that even one’s grandma could figure it out. 
  • In the Indian context, Anand Mahindra is a social media superstar because he puts in a lot of effort to air his views, even at the risk of trolls. Though he is hyperactive on Twitter, this third-generation entrepreneur knows how to connect with the rest of the world. His blog posts on important events are widely read too. So, even at the risk of attracting few trolls, sharing one’s view creates a human persona, which is what people resonate to. 
  • This is what gives people a reason to follow you on social media. You may not have or need to express your views on anything and everything, but for the business ecosystem your social handle would be a beacon of sorts. Of course, you must have something of value to say as mere endorsements won’t do the trick. And, this is where regular writing and creating content helps. 
  • Creating content on the internet around your organisation, your opinions or even the ten Bollywood movies you could re-watch makes for stickiness that social media loves. And so does Google and other digital giants whose algorithms are forever picking & posting content for your eyes only. Without subverting mainstream media like Donald Trump, an entrepreneur who shares her thoughts regularly, finds media relations easier. 

Because, even if you do create a virtual business card on Google, the world’s market leading search engine too states unequivocally that your content is your real business card. 

(Declaration: CXOToday is owned by Trivone, which works with enterprises to create thought leading content for its business leaders besides assisting their web development and social media management efforts) 

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