This Discussion covers types of information found in the Google’s search engine results as compared to the Google Plus search feature. People often want expert advice, not just advice from friends they trust. The social web made word-of -mouth messaging more powerful, and we all need to know where that power lies. People may not have connect to people on a social network with adequate knowledge, for example, about how to fix their technical problem on a computer. Social media trust in this instance takes a back seat in the absence of our wanting a technical support specialist for advice. We often trust our friends for buying advice, but experts for technical help.
Below is an abridged version of the video transcript
Eric: This is Eric Van Buskirk with Tweet Philadelphia.
Trish: And this is Trish Montayne, also with Tweet Philadelphia. How are algorithms for Social Media Websites more or less accurate than those for Search Engines?
Eric: It’s pretty interesting. This whole question of “is what you say to your friends and people that you’re having a conversation with on Social Networks” in some way providing better information than what people search for, and are getting results for, than from the more wider-range of sources in the search engines? I think that when you search for something, for example on Google Plus, it’s OK for simple searches but the fact of the matter is that it’s just providing a simple text result on what you search for. It’s not, however, doing a very good job at looking at the context. And of course that’s where the algorithm, in Google for example, is so complex because it’s taking into account thousands of signals that help return that result.
So you really can get some irrelevant results because it’s not looking at context. It’s looking at, for example, one share that a person did and that’s going to mean that you don’t really have a lot of information from outside of that. On the other hand, it does limit the potential for spam because it’s going to be returning results, in some cases, just from people that are within your circle.
One way in which you could be certain that the results are from the people you really want – some people circle a lot of folks– would be if Google were allowing you to specify which circles you want to show up in the search engine results. The problem with that, though, is that people really aren’t spending a lot of time on figuring out all the many different customizations within Google+. Of course most people aren’t even bothering to do anything with the Google+ site.
So to ask them to go in and have one more setting– it’s just too much for the user. People want things simple – “Keep it simple stupid” … What is that? K.I.S.S., yeah. “Keep it simple stupid” is an expression that’s tossed around in the sales world a lot. And as much as I wish you could do that, they could make that possible in the future, I don’t know that people would take advantage of it. So it’s going to returns results from all of the people in your circles. And it’s one more reason why, I think, people need to pay attention to who they actually include in their circles.
How growing and managing your Google Plus Circles insures social media trust and search results from expert sources
And I think a good way to do that is to follow (shared) public lists. If you want results from people in an area that you care about, for example for me photograph, I’m a serious photographer, I suppose you could say “professional photographer,” I find public lists of photographers. And they’ve been vetted, and that’s the key. I don’t have the time to go out there and click around looking at what contributions photographers have made, so that they’re going to show up in the algorithm, in the social algorithm when I’m searching for things on photography as people that I really want result from.
But if I see a trusted source has created a publicly shared circle of photographers, I know that he’s vetted them or he’s gone through the process of vetting them. These are people that share useful things and are intelligent and are worth listening to. That’s a great way to add to my circles and to the results that I get in my social search. And I think that it makes the algorithm for social search all the more useful for me: If people are doing this properly. It remains to be seen whether people spend the time to focus on these things that create more relevant results from the algorithm in Google when they’re doing searches that involve Search Plus Your World.