LAST week, Google unveiled a service called Search, plus Your World (SPYW). This basically meant that shared content from social networking and photo-sharing sites (read Google+ and Picasa) would be thrown up on the search results page of someone logged into Google.
“Now when I search for Delhi I not only see information about the city but I see pictures of the house where I grew up,” Google's Ben Gomes told news agency AFP. He said the search giant wanted to use the Google+ circles as underlying infrastructure, adding that Google had taken pains to protect personal data.
What about the other (& more popular) Social Networks??
Twitter was first off the blocks in spewing venom at the new service. It argued that since the micro-blogging website is often the one to break news, tweets often were the most relevant search results. By tightly integrating search into Google's social websites, there was the danger of relevant results appearing way down on the list.
They weren't alone. A report on Wired. com said that social integration meant more and more of Google+. While the idea was a good one, it ran the risk of falling by the wayside because the results didn’t integrate shared content from the most popular social network (and Google+ rival) Facebook.
Or for that matter other popular photo-sharing websites such as Flickr.
The search giant has argued that the technology is in place, but since Google is not even allowed to trawl these websites, there was no way these results could be integrated.
Many people have publicly demanded that Google enter into deals with other websites for sharing of content. Google, which was near to such a deal with Facebook in 2009, will have to decide whether they want to go the distance.
Image: Snapshot of the New Google Social Search
Leave it to the user to decide!
The best case scenario would have been to display searches based on one’s preferences. For example, if one were a vegetarian and searched for places to eat, it would automatically exclude a restaurant that specialised in fish or meat (and had a limited Veg menu). But since Google+ isn't the first choice for most people as their social network and since SPYW hasn’t yet thrown up such results, the idea still needs to be developed.
WHEN I Googled for my school (many of my mates are part of my Google+ circles) after signing into Google, no shared photos etc were displayed. But then, none of us use Google+ on a daily basis. Google, of course, provides an opt out option.
From no-frills to a lot of frills...
By integrating social networking into results, Google is actually changing the nature of its flagship product — Google Search. People always used the search engine because its no-frills interface somehow subconsciously sent a message — that it was based on a set of algorithms which were unbiased. But with the social feed surfacing on search results, this “unbiased” nature goes for a toss.
Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page wants to make all Google products more social.
But whether the millions of users who log on to the search engine for their daily dose of information want to know what their friends have shared is anyone’s guess.
Source: Mail Today