Want to ask your friends…?

Um, that depends?

The (we wish we had thought of this phrase, but have to credit Search Engine Land) Google+ification of Google search continues, and this time it’s personal. Now, if you are signed into Google, at the end of your search results, you are asked if you “Want to ask your friends about…” your search on Google+. Is this Google encouraging friends to come together, or is it Big Daddy Google shilling Google+? The answer is yes.

What’s New?

So now, when you’re logged in to Google, at the bottom of your search results, you get the following prompt:

“Want to ask your friends about your search? Ask on Google+”

Oooohhhhkay. On a personal level, this could be either very cool and beneficial (say, asking your friends on Google+ about whether Jim Kelly or Joe Montana was better) or very embarrassing (say, asking your friends on Google+ who Jim Kelly or Joe Montana are and did they play basketball or baseball). That’s on a personal level.

If you’re using Google for your business, that could be another story entirely. Unless you’re cool with someone searching for you on Google,but Google’s asking if your customer wants to ask about your competition. Oops…

Why, Google?

So what does Amit Singhal, Google’s Algorithm guy, have to say?

“The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful.”

Well, “pleasant” and “useful” are arbitrary terms, and we don’t necessarily want to ask our friends about EVERYthing we do and search for. And as long as you’re signed in, you’re going to get the prompt about everything.

Bottom Line

So…although this prompt is, in some ways, very “pleasant” and “useful”, it is, ultimately, just another move by Google to completely co-opt the search process and cram their myriad platforms down your throat. Not that Google has anything to apologize for; last time we checked, advertising was kind of important. But it’s a bit creepy: Google already basically holds all the cards, so why this move to consolidate the rest of the deck? Maybe we’ll ask our friends…

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