Not too long ago, Google (News - Alert) began gradually showing search results with its own social networking results integrated into the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Bloggers mostly had a negative view of this new experiment, called Search Plus Your World, and Twitter also had a fit, saying that Google is putting favoritism on its own social network in its search results. A developer working in Facebook (News - Alert) showed how Google+ search results are sometimes hard-coded. In fact, Google's recent changes also allegedly show irrelevant Google+ results in its SERPs, making several people switch over to Microsoft's (News - Alert) Bing.
Of course, Google contradicts all of this with statistics on user satisfaction. One of Google's staff, Amit Singhal, says that they actually love it. He adds that Google's analytical data of user search, along with the click-through rates on profiles, is showing a raised level of interest in the searchers when they pull up a SERP.
Users apparently aren't concerned with what they share in Google+, because they seem to accept the fact that the things they share in their circles - as long as they are public - are appearing on SERPs. Singhal said, “Every time a real user is getting those results, they really are delighted. Given how personal this product is, you can only judge it based on personal experiences or by aggregate numbers you can observe through click-through.”
Click-through rate, or CTR, is a percentage of how many users click into a link after seeing it. It's a good way to judge how effective something is in search results.
Singhal was asked about Google allegedly blocking Twitter (News - Alert) in real-time results. He responded, saying that it's a shame that Twitter no longer wanted to continue a deal in which posts on the network would show up in Google's Realtime Search results. He added that the development team for Realtime Search was disappointed to see something they worked so hard on go to waste.
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Miguel Leiva-Gomez is a professional writer with experience in computer sciences, technology, and gadgets. He has written for multiple technology and travel outlets and owns his own tech blog called The Tech Guy, where he writes educational, informative, and sometimes comedic articles for an audience that is less versed in technology.
Edited by Jennifer Russell