Did Google damage its core?
Bold headlines are not unusual on tech blogs – gotta get noticed, right? — but Gizmodo’s headline of “Google just made Bing the best search engine” is a little eye opening even by tech blog standards. And it reflects a growing negative tide against Google for the Search Plus feature, which incorporates social information from Google Plus into the results. I know we’ve been talking about this feature in the memo for a few days now but I think it’s really beginning to sink in for a lot of people just how significant it is because it pushes traditional search results down in favor of presenting all this information about people you know on Google Plus.
For years, Google Search has been the highest quality web product I’ve ever used. It has remained consistently essential as an information-delivery mechanism. I typically hit it hundreds of times a day—on my phone, tablet, laptop and desktop. But with one update it wiped out all those years of loyalty and goodwill it had built up. Sure, I can opt out of social results with a click—but as with all things I don’t want to have to opt out. I don’t want to have to make that extra click. I want to enter a query, and have the most relevant results returned to me as quickly as possible. (And if Google genuinely doesn’t think it’s a big deal for people to take the extra step of opting out, why has it focused so relentlessly on optimizing speed for so many years?)
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land has a very detailed examination of how disruptive the new Search is here http://searchengineland.com/examples-google-search-plus-drive-facebook-twitter-crazy-107554
and it’s really worth reading in order to understand just how huge a jump Google is making here.
Now the big question is whether the new search will be tweaked, dumped altogether, or left alone.
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