Google Favors Google+ Less In Search Results
As you may know, Google released a huge list of algorithm changes it made in the month of March. We’ve already looked at what Google had to say about the Panda update, and Google’s increased focus on freshness.
Another noteworthy change from the list is:
Better indexing of profile pages. [launch codename “Prof-2″] This change improves the comprehensiveness of public profile pages in our index from more than two-hundred social sites.
When Google launched Search Plus Your World (with increased Google+ integration), Twitter and Facebook threw respective fits. We documented the back and forth the companies exchanged. Basically, Twitter and Facebook (especially Twitter) weren’t happy that Google was showing Google+ profiles over Twitter profiles for certain queries, even though the Twitter profiles were more popular.
It was hard to argue with, though one can see the logic behind Google’s move, as it is trying to establish Google and Google+ as one great big network. If you were searching on Facebook for someone’s name, you would expect to get a Facebook profile first. So why not with Google?
Hint: the answer is that Google is known more as a web search engine, not a social network.
It appears that Google has remedied this, at least in some cases. Twitter specifically referenced an “@WWE” query when it was complaining. Twitter now shows up ahead of Google+ for “@WWE” (and just “WWE” for that matter).
We (and others) have also pointed out in the past that Google was showing Mark Zuckerberg’s Google+ page (which he does not use) ahead of his Facebook profile in a Google search for “mark zuckerberg”. Obviously, the Facebook profile (which he does use) is much more relevant. It appears that Google has remedied this as well.
As a matter of fact, Zuckerberg’s Google+ profile is completely gone from the front page for me now, where it was once the top result. That’s with Search Plus Your World toggled on, mind you. And I even have him in my Circles, so it would actually make sense for the profile to turn up somewhere on the page. Maybe they’ve gone too far in the opposite direction.
We’re not positive these particular instances were fixed with the aforementioned update from today’s list, but it’s worth noting in general that Google is getting better at this. Twitter and Facebook (and other networks) should be a little happier.