Google personalised search results
Ever since the announcement of Search Plus Your World I have been excited, it pulls in social data and gives the user the results that can suit what they are looking for on a deeper level than the simplistic keywords. But wait, that is what I would love to say, however after a few weeks of playing around with the personalised search, I have to admit, I hate it with a fiery passion.
I love social media; it’s no secret. I love the fast paced style that means when people I follow make terrible content posting decisions; I never have to see them again. Google has just taken that away from the average user completely; we now have to wade past the posts that we didn’t care about 4 months ago that are now top of our search results.
You may think it is as simple as removing these users from circles, but let’s be honest here, that is highly impractical and what’s more, why should we need to do that?
I do think what Google are trying to do is great, but they are not going about it in the right way. I used to be a big fan of the real-time twitter integration to results and was very disappointed when it was removed, one of the best things was that it had a its own segment in the search results but by no means took up the entire first page.
I think we can all agree personalisation is great, we all like a service that feels like it was designed for us and us alone, but is the motive far removed from great customer service and only designed to boost user numbers and to try and make themselves more relevant?
I think we are all beginning to lose trust in the overlords of the internet, for example, is there any need at all for them to leave out Twitter? If there is I would love to know what it is, yes I know that they have given the “reason” but does anybody buy it? Nope, I didn’t think so.
It has been shown by the introduction of the “don’t be evil” button released that it is an unnecessary act, so why did they? I think we can put it down to simple self promotion. Google want their $500m to pay off and although there is a strong level of user adoption (apparently), I don’t think it has made the splash that they were expecting.
We have all seen the quote “there are lies, damned lies and statistics”. If you don’t look deeper than what you are told then you are never going to get the full picture and with that, you are never going to be able to make informed and sensible decisions as marketers but even as users.
Google claims to have over 90 million users. Well fantastic, that is a huge number to gain in such a short space of time. I am a cynic but 90 million seems so over inflated, yes, there may be 90 million user accounts but are we going to call an inactive user account a user? We are lacking the relevant figures like, how many people use the service daily.
We have seen in the past couple of weeks that Pinterest has just tipped the 10m users mark but for any of you on both platforms (and I am sure many of you are) there is just so much more quality interaction on Pinterest. How is that possible with such a small amount of users in comparison to Google+? Simple, people are coming to take a look and sticking around because they enjoy it! Where as I am assuming a lot of people take a look at Google+ and don’t see where it fits into their day-to-day internet routine.
OK so that may have looked like a tangent but I really think Google are panicking, they just don’t seem to have a grip on their own platform or any of their users and are simply shooting from the hip, guessing what their users want without any idea whatsoever.
Google are letting themselves and their users down, Google+ is currently at best mediocre, if they improve the platform and then focus on the complementary features, they will achieve so much more.
I understand that there has been a lot of pressure on them to have a fully functioning network that can rival Facebook. But how is that supposed to happen in 7 months? Forget what the sensationalists are saying, Google has the potential to get there.
If Google reduce the amount of social clutter and find a far better way to include social sharing into search then I’m all ears, but until that point, I am happy to steer very clear of Search Plus Your World.
I would love to know what you think about it all and what you would like to see in the future of direct social integration to search?