Is a Lack of Search on Google Profiles Hurting Buzz?

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Google's Rick Klau points out that homepage for Google Profiles is missing a pretty obvious feature - search. While Google profiles are tied into your Google account as a whole, when it comes to Google Buzz, your Google profile is essentially your Wall. All your Buzz posts appear here, and so do any of your personal links you want people to see.

It is somewhat surprising that Google, being the search giant that it is, does not have a search feature here, where new users could look for other people they know. If you were looking at joining a new social network, you'd probably want to see if you have friends that are already using it. How much could this be impeding the growth of Google Buzz?

Google Profiles Home page

Granted, Facebook, the king of social networks doesn't have a search feature, but look at Twitter's home page. Search is very prominent. In fact, they made it this way in the era of everybody trying to figure out why they should be using Twitter. Google Buzz still has some convincing to do of its own.

Buzz has often been presented as a Gmail feature, but the profile is really the center of any user's Buzz presence.

Even if a user does not wish to use Buzz, they may still find value in having a Google profile, given that they appear in search results.

Klau notes that if you use Chrome, you sill have a way to search through profiles, and if you visit your own or somebody else's existing profile, you will find a search box at the bottom.

"Yes, adding a search box to the Profiles page is going to happen Real Soon Now," says Klau.

That will be one improvement. I'm thinking they should consider adding a Search Buzz field to individual profile pages as well - not to search for users, but to search for content. Remember how much more useful Twitter became with a search feature (granted, there is a Search Buzz button within Gmail)?

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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