Dear Google, social is about context not just about your network

Google rolled out it Social Search and besides that Google might have jumped the shark on this one and is likely to be moving to the dark side, there is something else that bothers me.

Google approaches social as an engineering thing, by just adding the content from my circles from Google+ to my search results. It messes up the results. This is because I circled people on Google+ because I they have interesting content on certain topics, not because they would make the ideal filters for search.

If Google would have looked at this from a social design perspective instead of an engineering perspective they would have implemented social search in a whole different way. Social search is not search + one social network, it is about some of the people in my social networks some of the time. Most of the things I search for are not connected to my social graph and if there is no connection to my social graph there is no use for showing me the results from my social graph.

The most disturbing thing is that Google favors Google+ over all other social networks, making things highly irrelevant since my social graph is in Twitter and Facebook not in Google+, so the search is not social, it is siloed, it is the new monopolist at work.

If Google would have approach search as something really social, then they would have focused on the result for the people, not on driving traffic to their own social network not on inflating their user counts by making plus mandatory for every new user, not on excluding others, not on making real names mandatory since you then can market your users better. They would have focused on not being evil, however it seems that now Facebook and Twitter have to take care of that.

Published by rick

I solve digital problems.