This morning a co-worker forwarded me the article, “There’s No Avoiding Google+”.

Feeling a little threatened by the title I took a few minutes to read through the article.

Did you know that Google now requires people to use the Google+ social network when users create an account to use Gmail, YouTube, or write reviews, along with numerous other online Google activities?

Google+ was launched mid-2011 to try to prevent Facebook from completely dominating the social scene. In my opinion and based on the fact that my Google+ network is fairly deserted compared to my Facebook network, I would say it hasn’t posed a serious threat to Facebook — except for the fact that G+ is backed by the muscle and wallet of Google.

The purpose behind Google+ was to help integrate several Google properties and to better understand users. The more information about you that Google has the better they are able to target their advertisements, which already make up the majority of Google’s profits. Google is looking for more ways to provide as highly targeted advertisements as those we are already seeing on Facebook.

Have you ever noticed that when you mention an eye appointment in a message you begin to see ads for local optometrists, or when you begin posting pictures of your new daughter you see ads for diapers? Watch closely and you will see how targeted Facebook ads are.

Case in point: When I logged into Facebook this morning I found ads for Starbucks drinks (my weakness) and for an upcoming industry related conference on the West Coast where I live. I would say that’s pretty targeted!

This quest for more targeted advertising brings up the Facebook vs Google Plus debate. With these thoughts in mind I was struck by one statement in the article, There’s No Avoiding Google+:

Google is trying too hard to compete with Facebook, and if people aren’t going to share willingly, they’ll make them share unwillingly.

Google VP Bradley Horowitz says that the “entry points to Google+ are many and the integrations are more every day.”

What about you? Are you personally or professionally integrated with Google+?

Some places we have been able to integrate Google+ with SEO include Google Places (local listings) and Authorship. In the future I am sure we will continue to see Google+ make its way further into how we think about online marketing and how we are able to access information about people.

Watch for tomorrow’ article review: Google Plus, Success or Failure?