Being a Libra is tough… I see both sides of every conflict, and go through a ‘weighing’ process that helps me to make informed and educated decisions. Having said that, I still don’t know how I feel about the integration of our personal data into our global search results. I’ll be researching this a bit more before I allow any settings changes. Check out the Google introduction video for “Google Search plus Your World” below.
In a way, I’m looking forward to advances in technology that this kind of integration will allow. On the other hand, I hesitate to allow so much of myself to be open for anyone passing by to have access to.
I understand that there may be settings available for us to control the degree of exposure our data gets… but I think I’d still feel just a little more ‘naked’ than I’m comfortable with, due to technological details beyond my control.
“The competition issues raised by Google+ go to the heart of the FTC’s investigation into whether the company is giving preference to its own services in search results and whether that practice violates antitrust laws, said the people, who declined to be identified because the probe isn’t public.” Furthermore “users who opt for Google+ see personal information about their friends included from the social networking service when they enter a query. The changes sparked a backlash from bloggers, privacy groups and competitors who said the inclusion of Google+ results unfairly promotes the company’s products over other information on the Web.”
Unfortunately, after digging through the “spat” between Google and Twitter, the bottom line is that it’s time to utilize Google+ in Social Networking strategies… if you aren’t already.
In the end, exactly how Google search results came to be dominated by Google+ pages — either as a result of having little access to other social networks or by intentionally ignoring them — isn’t that important. The important question is whether or not this domination is good for consumers. An issue which, if a complaint from privacy watchdog EPIC is effective, could be settled by the FTC.
Edited to add: The day after I published this post, I found a similar (and much more in depth) post by Brian Clark. In it, he articulates the thoughts that motivated my post, more eloquently than I was able to given the time I’ve had to dedicate to the Google+ developments. I suggest you check out his post, “Why Google+ is an Inevitable Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy“.
Feel free to ‘weigh in’ for yourself in the comments, I’m interested in hearing how others feel about all this