Google’s Plus One – An Uninvited Guest At An Already Boring Party?by Andrew on Jun 2, 2011 • 11:59 am 27 Comments
Yawn. Google have finally shown up to the “ooh, quick, click on me so your friends all know you like me” party. Now, thanks to the magic of Google +1, you’ll be able to Tweet a link, like it on Facebook, post it to LinkedIn, Sphinn it, SERPd it, Digg it, Reddit it, Stumble it, Mixx it, bookmark it with Delicious, subscribe to the RSS feed AND email it to a friend!
Great. We’re all spoiled for choice here.
And already, the heralds of SEO doom and the dedicated Chicken Littles of the various discussion conclaves are running about claiming that plus one is going to change the way that blah blah blah who gives a toss?
I don’t. And you probably don’t either.
Because here’s a little secret for you:
Google +1 is a ridiculously pointless addition to Google’s offering
Take a look at this blog. You’ll see massively prominent Twitter and Facebook buttons. You might also see a few small buttons for niche sites like LinkedIn or StumbleUpon, but those are the big two. Why?
Because that’s where we’re all going to find news that our friends like. We look to Twitter to see what experts in our niche rate highly, and we look to Facebook to see what friends and acquaintances recommend. That’s what those two sites exist for.
But we go to Google for unbiased results.
If I’m Googling, I don’t care what you think
That’s what Google don’t seem to understand.
If I want recommendations from a friend, I will go out and ask a friend. When I’m searching, I want the results that best match that query. Which means that when I search for a pair of trainers, I don’t want to have to scroll through the sort of shoes that my friends, acquaintances, siblings or colleagues like.
And the same goes for information. If I want to quiz someone for advice on a specific topic, I’ll turn to her Twitter feed. I won’t go to Google, hoping that her recommendation ranks more highly than someone else whose opinion I value slightly less.
But then Google +1 needs people to use it in order for it to be able to ruin my search experience. And I don’t think that’s going to happen either.
Are you going to +1 this article? No. You’re not.
If you agree with what I’ve written, I know you’re going to like it on Facebook. I know you’re going to Tweet it. I also know that you’re not going to Mixx it, Stumble it or submit it to Digg. How do I know this?
Because all of these options have been available to you since the blog started, and none of you have bothered. Because it takes effort to vote on something you like, and if you’ve gone to that effort, you want it to count.
When you Tweet or Facebook one of my posts, it’s shown to your friends and anyone monitoring your feeds. They see it instantly, and they start to see you as someone who spots interesting blog posts, and they trust you more.
When you plus one it, you sit around for weeks waiting for someone to Google “Andrew Nattan thinks that Google +1 is a giant waste of time, space and energy” and then hope they notice that you’ve upvoted it. No trust is gained, and you’re not sure that anyone will even know you recommended this piece.
So what should Google be doing then, if not messing around with adulterated search?
Remember the dark days before Google? The time of Lycos and Alta Vista? Those were bad days, because any decent results were surrounded by crap. Google meant we didn’t have to sift through crap.
Google should be staying true to their original offering. Great, trustworthy, high quality search engine results.
So why on earth are they devoting so much time to artificially adding crap for us to sift through?
If you’ve got the answer, or you think I’m wrong about +1, let me know in the comments section below.