Tag Archives: database of intention

Should Google push on with social search?


I have been pleasantly surprised that this blog is coming up in the search rankings for a series of random search phrases at the moment (front page for ‘low emissions cars’ for one reader, apparently). I promise I don’t do any SEO wizardry – I haven’t even had time to update my blogroll! – but I think my polymath tendencies and prolific blogging is working in my favour in Google’s eyes.

It is interesting that Google is increasingly changing the way it manages search to try to link in with your ‘social graph’ – what your network of contacts is seeing, finding and sharing. Google has been notoriously bad at creating social graphs itself (Buzz, anyone?), but what they have got they want to harness to this end. Indeed, it’s so serious about this that they’ve this week announced Google+ – it’s own social network.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. I like the mass-consensual authority of Google’s PageRank, using determined authority worldwide as the means by which it draws you to content – I’m happy for the ‘database of intention‘ of the search world to be different to that of the social world. If I want a social recommendation, I will ask – on Quora, or – more likely – Tweetdeck or Facebook. It’s a different style of interaction.

That said I’ve not really seen it play out yet (largely because Google’s Social Graph capabilities are so limited), and Rory at the BBC is trying to test if this is really the case. So will have to wait and see what happens.

I know from Google’s point of view that social search is a necessary strategic move – reports are coming in of a decrease in overall web traffic as people move to Facebook. So to maintain its ad revenue, it needs to maintain relevance in an increasingly social web.