Google is a for-profit company. Really, the only people it has to worry about pleasing are its shareholders. It's free to show favoritism for its own products, to promote what it wants, and to edge out its competition.
There's just one little problem. Google is so successful because its search engine — the bread and butter of its business — was built upon a theme of equality.
Ever since I can remember, Google's greatest strength was that no matter who you were, or how popular or successful your business may have been, you got equal treatment on the web. If I, a full-time working mom in the suburbs, developed a social media website or blog that others found more relevant than, say, a website or blog developed by a top marketing firm, then my site — not the marketing firm's — would rise to the top of the search pile.
The idea is wonderful. The execution is poor.
I get it. Google created its own social network. It wants to use that social network to further personalize search for its users. But...Google has to know its users are on different social networks. Some of them might love Gmail, but hate Google+. One could argue they know many intimate details about its customers, based upon what those customers type into the search box. Why is Google ignoring them?
Wouldn't it make more business sense for Google's social search to include ALL social channels?
Think of the possibilities. You wouldn't need separate social search engines, if you happen to use them. As a social business, you could find out what people in your networks were saying about you, or whatever topic you desired, in a snap. You'd know it if one of your friends had bought a food processor they loved or hated instead of having to troll through reviews from people you don't know.
But right now, if you don't use Google+ regularly, and your friends don't use Google+ regularly, you're out of luck when it comes to Google's social search.
I want to hold out hope. Google does this a lot; it launches something, then gradually improves it later instead of perfecting it beforehand. Maybe they will eventually include all the social networks a person is part of, perhaps by giving users the option to link all of those networks to their Google account.
But something tells me Google has dealt itself a crippling blow.
What do you think?