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Google Goofed

Traditionally, friends and business don’t mix too well together. Speaking from experience, I can attest to some personal relationships that have become rather ‘strained’ in the past after having worked together. It’s an unfortunate but all-too-common reality that most of us are well aware of . . . unless you happen to be Google that is.

In a blatant attempt to push Google + into the top slot among jockeying social media outlets, the Google brass decided a few weeks ago to interlock their traditional search results with all sorts of ‘stuff’ culled from your own social network. Now off-hand this move might sound like a pretty good idea, but there’s a few points I need to make to illustrate how bad it actually is.

Google + Or Nothing – For many out there who are balking at what Google’s done to the way its search engine operates, it comes down to the issue of implementation. Instead of extracting content from many different social networks, Google’s new results will lean heavily on its own network, Google+. Despite the fact that Google + is gaining in popularity, it’s not the only social media network out there.

I’m a almost exclusive Facebook/Twitter user, but if I ‘Google’ say, hand-crafted Native American rugs, I’m only going to get results that my friends have shared via Google + on that subject. Okay, but what if all the really juicy information circulating around about where to find the best hand-crafted Native American rugs is being shared through Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or Flicker? Then, according to Google’s brilliant new move, you miss out on it altogether . . . How much sense does that make? But there’s another thing that’s even more troubling than that . . .

Friends And Search Engines Don’t ‘Mix’ – Getting back to my Native American rug example, what if my friends don’t know the first thing about these rugs to begin with? What sort of a Google search result would I generate then? The kind that would be limited just to what my friends knew about the topic. Come again?

In the past, when I Googled a specific topic, I got results that were based around the opinions and interests of ALL Internet users, not just my buddies. So in other words, if I was looking for the most spectacularly gorgeous hand-crafted Native American rug to buy for my wife, I’d have to ‘friend’ someone who knew about this subject first. Not only is this ridiculous, but it seems to go against the whole notion of what having access to a World Wide Web is all about. Full contact with everyone, not just my immediate, and admittedly, limited circle of friends.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but this whole Google idea doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Or perhaps for the first time since the social media revolution exploded a few years ago, now’s the time when it doesn’t really pay to have friends anymore. Food for thought.             

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