Just a few hours ago Google announced an enhancement to Gmail called Google Buzz that will be rolled out over the next couple of days. What is Google Buzz? Essentially, it is the incorporation of an important part of what made Google Wave so sexy for many people (me included) – the ability to manage conversations on other platforms (like Twitter) from a central location that we already frequent – GMAIL.

So how does Google Buzz work? Below is a video outlining the cool new capabilities but if you can’t access that at the moment, here is much of the key video transcribed to text:

“Buzz goes beyond status messages. It automatically pulls images from links, shows videos in line, and lets you flip through photos the way they were meant to be seen – big and fast. You can connect to other sites you use; like Picasa, Flickr, Google Reader, and Twitter. So your friends can keep up on what you are doing on the web, all in one place.

“Buzz makes sure you see what matters most. The best part about sharing is getting responses to your post; Buzz sends these comments to your inbox to make sure you don’t miss them. You can respond right from there to keep the conversation going. If you want to make sure you friends see something, you can send it right to their inbox by adding them with an “@” reply.

“You’ll sometimes see recommended Buzz from someone you are not directly following. Buzz identifies posts that may interest you or are popular among your friends and recommends them to you so you don’t miss out. And it works on your phone, so you can keep up with what your friends, or people near you, are Buzzing about.”

Here is the official Google Buzz video followed by why Google Buzz could help Google advertisers and those with high Google rankings:


So what does this mean to you as a Google Advertiser or if you have a top ranking site?

For those of you on Adwords, this could be good news because it will surely further the adoption of Gmail over other email platforms. Then, depending on how quickly and effectively Google Buzz is adopted, it could very well increase the viewership of your AdWords advertisements on Gmail (from the Google content network). Why? Because, Google Buzz is designed to make Gmail more useful and easier to stay-in and enjoy.

If you have a top search engine ranking on Google then if Google Buzz does well it could have some benefits for you; just much more indirectly than advertisers. Why? First, it is good for you if Google’s search share increases or stays the same so that you can maximize the potential viewers to your top ranking. With this in mind, it stands to reason Google’s search share will be reinforced if/when Google Buzz captures interest and increases Gmail adoption. Of course, this assumes that those that use Gmail are more likely to use Google as their search engine; a reasonable assumption.

Secondly, the discussions that happen within Gmail are saved within each users’s Gmail database. That means the content can be searched which, in turn, means that any discussions about your brand in a social context is saved and could be served up in future organic searches where social results are integrated. Yes, I know, that benefit is a stretch but it does a good job of showing how incestuous our social mediums are becoming.

What are your thoughts on Google Buzz? I see many are very underwhelmed by the whole thing but I freely admit I am excited to have more reason to stay in Gmail – I use it for email exclusively.

Here are some interesting followup articles for those of you interested in the hype and fallout from the Google Buzz announcement:

  • Microsoft Slams Google Buzz: LOL! Microsoft actually touts Hotmail as some sort of competitor… get real!
  • Yahoo! Not Pleased With Google Buzz’s Buzz: Even though it is entirely different, Yahoo! is telling the world it already launched its own version of Buzz years ago. Unfortunately, their righteous exclamation just looks like that poor wanna be comic that says “why are you laughing at him? I just told that same joke!?”
  • Banish Google Buzz Updates from Your Gmail Inbox: Quick as a bunny as always, Lifehacker has posted a way to remove the buzz updates from your Gmail account for those that don’t want to see them and/or those with the bandwidth restrictions that make it dangerously unnecessary.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Services
Increasing the bottom line online for businesses since 1997