Larry Page Just Tied ALL Employees' Bonuses To The Success Of Google's Social Strategy

Posted by Roman Bodnarchuk on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 @ 07:04 AM

New Google CEO Larry Page, who stepped into the job this week, believes that Google needs to go "social" to compete.


To that end, he sent out a company-wide memo last Friday, alerting employees that 25% of their annual bonus will be tied to the success or failure of Google's social strategy in 2011.

Click here to see a history of Google's failed attempts at social >>

"This is a joint effort so it's important that we all get behind it," we're told Page writes in the confidential memo, subject-lined "2011 Bonus Multiplier."

Page tells employees that are not directly involved in Google's social efforts that they, too, will be held accountable. He writes that employees must test the products and give feedback.

Page wants these employees to push Google's social products on their "family and friends."

"When we release products, try them and encourage your family and friends to do the same."

Google PR tells us: "We're not going to comment on internal matters."

When Google gave all of its employees a 10% raise and $1,000 bonus last fall, it was part of a move to abolish bonuses that had been based on an annual company multiplier – where employee bonuses were multiplied against some figure correlated to the overall company's performance.

In 2011, the returned company multiplier will be somewhere between .75 and 1.25 – depending on how well Google does in social.

That means employees' bonuses could shrink by 25% if Google doesn't perform. One Googler we talked to was irritated by a new risk being introduced into their compensation package.

And, indeed, there is plenty of risk in betting that Google will suddenly compete in social. It's been trying for years and has mostly failed at every step.

Earlier this month Google launched its latest social effort, called +1. It's a button next to the blue links on Google Search results the users can click on to say, in Google marketing's words, "this is something you should check out."

When you click the button, Google tells your friends, family, and the rest of the world that you recommended the link.

For now, +1 buttons are only in Google search results, but Google says that they'll soon be elsewhere.

We're guessing you'll see them in articles, videos, on ads, and even on Amazon product pages – everywhere you see Facebook "like" buttons and Twitter "re-tweet" buttons today.

Speculating, we assume Google will use all the recommendations to not only improve search results, but also to bring content and URLs into some sort of content stream on that will look a lot like the Twitter stream and the Facebook News Feed looks now.

Increasingly, people are finding content to consume and things to buy online on Facebook (and to a lesser degree, Twitter) before they ever get a chance to search for it on Google. +1 is Google's effort to get in on that action.

And that's why Google's so paranoid about social that it's tying ALL employee's bonuses to the social strategy's success.

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Topics: social media, social media marketing, n5r blog, n5r case studies, online marketing


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