Google is reportedly working on a third-party commenting system that will allow users to post comments on other sites under their Google account. The move is seen to counter Facebook's similar commenting offering already distributed across the internet, but Google's version will be different in that comments will be indexed and integrated into search engine results.
This could possibly be a huge blow to Facebook. For companies struggling to climb the search results ladder, these indexed comments may not only boost their search result position, but bring in new customers. That means companies may no longer need to rely on a Facebook page to advertise their presence on the Web.
Of course, the commenting system will likely draw in new users to Google's struggling social network, Google+ (which could use a new name like Gtown or GoSocial). Companies may likewise take the Facebook alternate a bit more seriously, connecting with current and new customers on a more personal level through video Hangouts, chats and real-time news feeds.
But Google may be headed for an uphill battle. By providing a commenting system on sites that already play host to Facebook's own system, the company adds a second choice. It may come down to what the end user is more comfortable with, and right now that seems to be Facebook despite Google's efforts to push Google+. Still, if Google comments will be indexed into the search engine, many sites may simply pull Facebook's version in favor of better search results.
Google officially launched its social network to the public late last year, and saw a large amount of traffic during its first few months. Google+ has the upper hand against Facebook in regards to integration with other Google services. But Facebook has the upper hand in that it's been the central social hub for years -- its millions and millions of users have essentially "moved in" and made neighbors with friends, family, and fellow virtual farmers. Their reluctance to rebuild their virtual home on another social network is understandable.
But we probably haven't seen the full potential of Google+ in this early stage of its existence. It's still green, trying to find its footing. The new social network could use all the help it can get, and if websites are willing to participate, the commenting system may bring in a new crop of users. What Google really needs is the Next Big Social Thing to grace the Google+ pages and draw in legions of followers much like Farmville did for Facebook years ago.
Google reportedly talked about its upcoming commenting system during its own event, G-Saudi Arabia. However, little else is officially known about the proposed system, and Google's didn't provide an actual launch timeline.