A few days ago, Google started rolling one the biggest changes to its search engine in a while, by integrating Google+ social results into your query, whether you’re on G+ or not, whether you’re logged into Google or not. It’s pushing Google+ over relevancy in some cases, but is that the best way to make a search engine?
Google has been pushing G+ hard in an attempt to try to put a dent in Facebook, but why is Google so afraid of Facebook? Do they think that social sites will one day trump the importance of just a good search engine?
Google Search Plus hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet, but if you’re seeing it, I’m curious as to what you think of it. I haven’t seen it yet, but so far, I’ve heard nothing but bitching. On Search Engine Land, which obviously spends a lot of time thinking about and discussing search engines, the opinion is decidedly negative. Even if you’re not logged into Google, even if you’re browsing incognito, Google Search Plus pushes G+ results ahead of everything else.
On Search Engine Land, they use the example of searching for “music” and getting a bevy of music suggestions from Google+, but I think doing a search for “music” might be a bad example for bitching and a good example of how Google Search Plus might be beneficial. Unless you have no idea what music is and you’re looking for a definition of the word, probably about 99% of people doing a Google search for “music” are looking for some sort of new music, and getting suggestions from the masses might not be a bad function. Unless it’s all Britney Spears.
As long as search can determine between generic searches like “music”, in which most people might be looking for opinions from others and searches that are looking for hard information, I don’t see this as a bad thing.
But what do you think? Is this a good direction for Google?