It seems Google is keen to get involved in content curation with the launch of Google Keen. This new, content discovery service is being dubbed ‘a rival to Pinterest’, but that’s not strictly true. Pinterest is more of a social media network and is very much focused on people’s lifestyles. So, what is Google Keen and what makes it different to Pinterest? 

What is Google Keen?

There’s a lot of debate about what Google Keen actually is. According to Android Authority, it’s ‘Google’s latest attempt at a social networking site following the failure of Google Plus, which shutdown in 2019.’ Android Authority also describes it as a ‘Pinterest competitor’.

Search Engine Journal on the other hand describes Google Keen as a ‘machine learning app that actively promotes relevant web pages to users.’

We’re inclined to agree with Search Engine Journal’s description of Keen. After all, Google is in the business of promoting relevant web pages based on people’s search queries. However, it could be a social networking site too. The truth is, it’s too early in the day to know how people will use it and if it will get any traction at all.

What is clear is that Google Keen has been created to become a new source of referral traffic.

A blog put out by Google shares how the new content discovery app came to life after CJ Adams, co-founder of Keen, and his wife started sharing information about activities that they considered important to them, activities they wanted to share with each other.

As the pair started compiling links and resources specific to their hobbies and goals, they realised that they needed a tool to not only curate the content they discovered, but to identify more content that related to their hobbies.

The blog post, written by CJ Adams, explains: 

“It was powerful to tell each other what we wanted to spend more time on. And once we did, we found that collecting related ideas, links and resources together gave us a way to spend more time on our shared passions in real life.

“To explore this idea further, four colleagues and I created a new experiment called Keen as part of Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects.”

Keen allows users to curate content that can be shared publicly, with specific people or privately.

What makes Keen different to Pinterest?

Unlike Pinterest, Keen utilises Google Search and machine learning to find content that a user relates to. The more content you collect, the better Google Keen gets at discovering content that you care about.

Google describes this as a ‘proactive way to discover content.’ An official announcement from Google says that you can:

“Save and add links, text, images and web searches. Everything you add gets you more to explore…”

How will Google Keen drive more website traffic?

What’s interesting about Google’s official announcement is that by collecting more content using Keen, it unlocks more relevant content and it’s this that will drive more traffic to websites.

It’s a known fact that the best recommendation a website can receive is a recommendation from one person to another. Google Keen offers a new way to tap into this opportunity and boost your website’s popularity and traffic. 

Relevant content is actively sought out by Google Keen, where as a search engine is passive and waits for someone to enter a query. Rather than passively recommending content when responding to a search engine request, Keen will actively present content that’s enjoyable for users.

By sharing content that’s relevant to your customers on Google Keen, the theory is that more people will share it and therefore, drive more traffic to your website.

Does Google Keen have a future?

If it’s perceived as a social networking channel, Google will be cautious given that Google Plus ended in failure. As a content curation channel, there’s potential. However, at this stage Keen is purely an experimental WebApp and is only available for Android 4.4.

Google Keen may well be useful if you’re a web publisher, search marketer or a web store for driving traffic, but the app is very much in its infancy.For now, it’s a ‘watch this space’ kind of scenario, but be sure to tune into the Calloway Green blog for further developments on Google Keen as they happen.