Since the announcement of Google Search, Plus Your World, the interwebs has exploded with opinions of the search giant’s new functionality that puts Google+ content front and center. Without even touching on the legality of this change, let’s make something clear – this doesn’t really matter until more people adopt Google+ as their every day social networking platform.
Here’s an example – I’m a big Yankees fan, and I follow numerous Yankees fans on Google+. When turning on Google Search, Plus Your World, my search results actually become LESS relevant. The Yankees fans I follow on Google+ simply don’t post enough Yankees content to add value to the search. In fact, Google Search, Plus Your World is a MAJOR downgrade when compared to Google’s now defunct Realtime Search, which integrated Twitter results into the Google search engine.
To understand the REAL issue here, we need to take a step back and remember why humans use search engines in the first place. When we type a query into Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., we expect the most timely, relevant and accurate results to populate our screen – regardless of where they’re housed. At its core, Google understands this: “Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” (emphasis added).
However, as Mike Elgan astutely points out, all of the “social” networks have become increasingly antisocial, creating data silos. Twitter, Facebook and now Google+ have become repositories for valuable and timely data that is worthy of appearing in search results, but because they can’t strike content sharing deals, Google has been forced to stray from their mission statement.
In a perfect (and fantasy) “Search Plus Your World,” relevant results from Facebook, Twitter AND Google+ would be algorithmically added to search results – without giving priority to any specific service. For a more focused search, there would be tabs on the left side of the page that would bring back “Realtime Search” for Twitter, and introduce something similar for Facebook.
Needless to say, I won’t be activating Google Search, Plus Your World any time soon. Call me when Google, Twitter and Facebook learn how to play nice, or when EVERYONE starts using Google+.