If you’ve Googled something this week, you’ve probably seen something new in the Search Pages if you were logged into your Google account. You might notice that they seem a bit more personal.
That’s because Google’s recent search update, is it’s biggest attempt at understanding social yet. Simply titled “Search, plus Your World,” the new update is dramatically tied into your Google profile and ties all of the personal information that you have given it, into search.
This is what happens, when I searched for my co-worker Alex Pethick, who’s part of my Google+ network.
Since Alex is connected to me, on Google+, I’m able to bring up all the information that he has shared with Google including his websites, social networks, and blogs, when I search for him. Google thinks this is a good thing, because it thinks if I’m looking for Alex Pethick, I’m looking for something that he’s tied too.
There is a small problem though that lies with this idea though and that problem lies with your friends. How many people have you circled, followed, or friended in the last year and not gone back to talk to. Our social networks have become our business cards and we often add people without giving it another thought and this is Google’s problem.
Google is trusting that we trust all of our friends. Google thinks we trust their likes, their interests, and their tweets but that’s not the case. I’m surely not going to trust something on a recommendation from that friend of a friend who added me last week on Google+ when I barely remember their name and I’m sure this is true for a lot of you. We have all tried our hardest to make sure that our social channels our in order the last few years, that we have opened up these networks to more than just close friends.
Google still has a long way to go, before it truly understands social. Social is not search and search is not social. This latest update shows us that Google is going in the right direction, but it still has a ways to go.