The Facebook Fulcrum: Google’s 2011 Bonuses Hinge on ‘Social’

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It’s the end of Google co-founder Larry Page’s first week back at the helm as company CEO, and it appears the game plan is still looking aggressive.

In a memo apparently sent out to Google employees, everyone’s 2011 bonus will grow or shrink based on how well the company does with its social efforts. Let’s just call this the Facebook Fulcrum, for lack of a better term.

Googlers’ bonuses have historically been “multiplied against some figure correlated to the overall company’s performance,” according to Business Insider but that multiplier will now shrink or grow based on Google’s ability to successfully “integrate relationships, sharing and identity across our products,” according to the memo.

The memo goes on to say:

“If we’re successful, your bonus could be up to 25% bigger. If not, your bonus could be as much as 25% less than target. We all have a stake in the success of this effort and this multiplier is designed to reflect that.”

Google has rolled out several social products over the years—Orkut, Wave, Buzz, and now +1, to name a few—but the company’s had a hard time gaining traction against a behemoth like Facebook.

And with Facebook slowly but surely branching out from more than just simple social networking into areas that Google’s already staked claims—open computing, shopping, mobile, advertising, e-mail, location-based services, and even search—it’s no stretch to imagine that Page might want to kick Google’s social efforts into high gear in an attempt to keep people from using Facebook for everything.

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