New Google+ “Search plus Your World” Eliminates Other Social Media ResultsBy now you’ve certainly heard of Google’s new search personalization tying in their fresh faced Google+ social media outlet to your search results to make them more relevant to you. This recent addition to integrate Google+ results with the normal paid and organic search results as “Search plus Your World”. Part of this is a push to get more people on Google+ if they aren’t already but, as they personal results are placed above the organic results. Google is basically telling us that the search results that they strive so hard to maintain and refine should just be replaced with social media results.
Proponents of other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter have slammed Google for their new search features because they claim they unfairly exclude other social outlets besides Google+. Ordinarily, this would be an issue of jealously by competitors but with Google’s massive 65%+ market share, it could very well bring up some anti-trust or monopoly issues. Forget free web and SOPA, if Google is allowed to dominate all aspects of the internet, users will have to play by Google’s strict often ambiguous rules.
What we have known for a few years is essentially true now: search engines suck. Too many times users search but can’t find what they are looking for. In theory, they are great omnipotent powers that serve up exactly what we are looking for. In practice, search engines deliver paid ads in the most prominent visual spots and gamed “organic” results below which have played the system up to get their high rankings. Despite recent updates to Google’s ranking algorithm, such as the Panda or Farmer update which eliminated low value content farms, search engine optimizers have steadily adapted to the changes, feeling out by split testing what works and what doesn’t. Putting aside the blurry ethical lines many use to market and promote their links, this system has been broken long enough that casual internet users know a lot of the web is spam and ads.
If social media didn’t look promising before to businesses for advertising and marketing, it must look like the holy grail now. Because of the unsavory search engine results experienced on a daily basis, more and more people will rely on sharing links socially and it is only a matter of time before Facebook truly gets into search themselves. And then it is only a matter of time until Google gets out of search.