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Renewed Google Profiles: waiting for the integration in Universal Search

11 March 2011 BY

At SES London I was talking to some very nice people from Microsoft. They asked me: is there a way we can make Bing work in Europe? Well, there are several ones off course, like for starters make it work in Europe! But I also mentioned people search. People search you say? Yes, people search.

The most done searchtype on any search engine is without a doubt the “ego search”, searching for your own name. But that is not what I’m directly talking about. What I mean is people searching for your name. Because that happens a lot too.

What if you could actually manipulate what people would be able to see as the first result on your name? Sort of like an overview page which tells the searchers who you are and where on the web they can find you? I can hear you think: a Google Profile you mean? Yes in a way I mean that, wouldn’t it be great to have that on the top of the results. That’s what I suggested Bing would do, play the ego-card so to speak.

A week after SES in my Google Reader I suddenly spot a post with the title “Decide what the world sees when it searches for you“. It’s on the Google Social blog. What? Did Google do what I suggested and beat Bing to it? It looks like it when you see the title. And why not. Google Profiles is the best example of how a page like that should look.

What Google announced was a renewed Google Profiles page. It looks more like a webpage now, with the introduction right in the middle of the page and links to the different websites connected to your profile on the right. A nice new look.

What about the findability?

But here it comes. You would expect, by the title of the post you would expect that if you search for a name, the Google Profile would show up. Or at least a list to Google Profiles with that name. But no such thing. Not for my own name or for another name (like for example Sam Crocker) the Google Profile shows up. Only if you search within the profiles you can find it. A missed opportunity for Google. Why not integrate it in Universal Search?

AUTHORED BY:
h

Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer and online marketing strategist. Bas is the founder of Stateofdigital.com. -- You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
  • http://www.williamtoll.com William Toll

    Thanks for the update. I have been tracking Google Profiles for a while. Google gives the links on the profiles high weight in the ranking algorithms. Other services are also using the profile to build a list of links and tie the social graph across the services listed.

    • http://www.basvandenbeld.com Bas van den Beld

      Hi William, thanks for the comment. Google might give it some weight, and probably a lot of Google Profiles don’t have enough links to it to actually rank well. I can only see it popping up with for example a search for Matt Cutts, where its on position six, but if you do a search for for example Danny Sullivan, its not there either.

      What I would be ‘rooting for’ is that it is on the top of the results, no matter what, not counting any links. That would make people search through Google (or Bing) a lot more interesting.

  • http://www.nadeemanjum.co.uk/ Nadeem Anjum

    Hi Bas van den Beld, I’m guilty of searching for my name way too much but also decided to try and control all the search results for my name. I found my Google profile eventually ranked pretty well alongside the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn.

    I always wondered why they didn’t push it more especially as William mentioned with the social graph. After the profile update I started to notice my Google Profile integrated into the search results quite heavily (see quick post below):

    http://www.searchnest.co.uk/blog/google-profiles-getting-more-real-estate-in-search-results-738

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