Brandie Broihier | @brandienic Last week, Google announced a new search feature called “Search Plus Your World.” Using Google+, the search engine will begin to filter your results using information obtained from your Google+ circles. So say you need to look-up your old friend Bob Smith. Normally, your friend would be hidden amongst thousands of pages because of his super common name. If you are logged into Google+, though, you will have a much better chance of finding the correct Bob Smith.
Sounds useful, right? Not everyone thinks so. Privacy watchdog EPIC filed a complaint with the FTC on Thursday, saying that “Google is using its search engine to create an unfair advantage for its social network. The report says Google is highlighting results from Google+ at the expense of pages that might be more relevant.”
Consider this in terms of profit. If your company is named Bob Smith's Power Tools, and you primarily use Twitter to engage with customers, you could be in trouble when the guy with a Google+ account suddenly shows up pages ahead of you in searches. Google+ guy could snag your potential customers.
To illustrate the idea that the new search feature will not adequately serve consumers, Twitter general council Alex Macgillivray then tweeted an example of why he thought Google’s new results were inefficient: Google search results for the search term “@WWE” — yes, with the “@” symbol — that did not include the organization’s Twitter page.” The problem with this is the WWE has more Twitter followers than does Google+, thus making the results not optimum for most consumers.
Google responded that they have never indexed the @ symbol, and furthermore, Twitter is responsible for being excluded from Google search engine results as they let their contract agreement with Google end in July of 2011. Google denies intent to harm Twitter, while Twitter insists this is a strategic move to optimize Google+.
While Google+ is the newcomer to the Social Media scene, it is backed by the full power of the Heavyweight Champion of the Internet. So what does this mean from a Social Media perspective? Your business had better be sure you have a Google+ profile. Share every post on Google+ too, make sure you have Google+ buttons on your posts and, most importantly: keep building relationships with people!
Social Media Delivered (@socialmediadel) can help.
References: http://mashable.com/2012/01/13/ftc-google-plus/ http://mashable.com/2012/01/12/google-twitter-social-search-at-symbol/ http://mashable.com/2012/01/12/watchdog-ftc-google-social-search-unfair/ http://mashable.com/2012/01/11/twitter-google-smackdown/