My Problems with Google Search Plus Your World As A User
You probably learned yesterday or this morning that Google launched its new Google Search Plus Your World initiative which integrates Google+ much more tightly with search results and makes content from it’s social network a big part of your results if you are logged in.
Here’s the announcement if you missed it.
I think it’s too early to tell how this will effect SEO, but there are a few thing about it that bother me as a user.
1. This Isn’t Your World or Mine.
Google Search Plus Your World doesn’t include Facebook or Twitter or Flickr right now. That means that you are getting only a tiny slice of your online social life in the results. Even if Google+ continues to grow at its current rate, it’s still not going to give you the breadth of connections needed to really enrich your search experience.
Of course, if Google+ explodes in popularity then this point becomes moot. But RWW had an article about Google+ early adopters back in August–male, tech-enthusiasts & students–and I’d say this is still the profile of the majority of users.
2. Why Assume That My Shared Content is What I Want to Find?
If I want to see my friends photos from Belize, then I’ll checkout her profile (on Facebook) or ask her.
If we are friends, then I probably already know about her vacation and can ask for more info. Alternately, l can just post a message saying “Anyone been to Belize? What’s a good hotel?”. So if I’m “searching” for info on Belize, then it probably means that I don’t think my friend’s have the info I want. If that’s that case, then why re-hash stuff that I’ve already seen and don’t care for? Can you imagine how often a Ryan Gosling image is going to show up in results?
By having any publicly shared media showup in the results, Google is paving the way for companies to push large amounts of content into Google+ because they [companies] know that if it gets shared, then it will persist in people’s search results forever. This is great for brands but might be annoying for users.
3. Search Results Are Becoming Too Complicated
The SERPs are getting bloated. This is bad for SEO & for users. Based on the screenshots, I’d say that we are in for more scrolling and fewer links per SERP. People will need to go to page 2 just to see 10 real links and that’s not even factoring in shopping results, rich snippets and maps.
Suddenly the SERPs are looking like a poorly designed infographic instead of a simple and powerful tool for finding stuff. Then there is the need to toggle in order to get a non-personalized result. Whatever happened to the days when you clicked “Google Search” and (algorithmic) magic happened? If I have to sort and navigate all the stuff on the page then I might as well go back to using dmoz.
Sorry This Got a Little Negative
I didn’t realize how much I disliked Google Search Plus Your World until I started writing. I can’t say that it will be detrimental for SEO, but I know that as a user it’s a turnoff. I doubt if I will be logging into Google Plus anytime soon. Though I will be getting Actonia’s page up and running sooner than I originally planned (yep, I’m bad like that.)
If you think I’m way off base or want to join me in complaining, then let me know in the comments
Image courtesy of International Relations Ryan Gosling