Friday 13 January 2012

Search Minus Your World?

There's been a lot of press, blog and Twitter coverage this week about the changes Google has made to its search offering - Search Plus Your World.

I spotted something recently on a Google search, annoying and perplexing, and which might affect the way in which I use Google search in the future. It could be that I've missed something really obvious, so someone please do let me know if I have. If I go to Google and search for "LinkedIn Updates" (as I did recently) I get a page of search results, as you might expect:

Now I might be quite pleased about this, as two of my blog posts show up on the first page of results. However, this is actually only happening because Google knows who I am. If I log out and repeat the search, my search results disappear:

Fair enough. However, why do I actually want to know that two posts on my own blog are relevant to the search query "LinkedIn Updates"? I did, after all, write them both, so it's a fair bet I know about them. My search doesn't really return 10 useful links, only 8, as I already know about the other two. Is there a limit on this - if not, I might get to a stage where half the results shown aren't news to me, which kind of defeats the object.

Looking at the Google search options, this doesn't appear related to the social search. I think. There seem to be more and more options to set up on Google these days.

Let's remember the reason why Google became so popular in the first place - it was quick, uncluttered, and allowed you to find out stuff you didn't know.

Somehow we need to get back to that. So it may be that Google Search becomes more useful when you're logged out. A kind of "Search Minus Your World".

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