Google Responds: No,That’s Not How Facebook Deal Went Down (Oh, And I Say: The Search Paradigm Is Broken)

“We want to set the record straight. In 2009, we were negotiating with Facebook over access to its data, as has beenreported.  To claim that the we couldn’t reach an agreement because Google wanted to make private data publicly available is simply untrue.”

Interesting times for social and search. Very much so.

It’s not you Google

Google launched its +1 button a few days ago. Some say it’s google’s attempt to try social. Some say it’s just an element in a more coherent social strategy. Some say it’s a move into or towards (better) social search. Some say it’s a direct answer to the like button. All we know is, it won’t work. Not this way.

Saying google is not good at social is too easy. Saying it’s because of the reign of the engineers at google is too easy. People are not good at social. That’s the real problem of the +1 button. People are merely intrested in themselves. Social starts with me and my social circle.

+1 does not have a (social) ecosystem behind it. Unlike tweeting or liking a post or a website, a +1 is merely a shot in the dark. 20% of all search queries on google have never been done before, let alone how many are unique to the user who do them. Chances are that no-one will ever see your +1. The absence of this direct impact will withhold people to use it. Why would they?

Chances are, they won’t use the +1 for keeping track of most liked personal search results too. Most searches I do are very here and now. I’m looking for news, a place, information. Once I have that, I either use it or save it in some way or the other. Into my delicious account, just copy-and-pasting or saving as a google doc or evernote file. I try everything not to make a search again.

Then again Google has been quite good at serving the results you want for quite some time now. Localisation. Social input from the twitter and other firehoses. Real time search results. Why would any user bother to help them it it were not for personal or social reasons. Either to help people find your sites (as I will most certainly do) or those of your friends or colleagues.

The lack of instant gratification you get from posting a link to other social networks will be an issue for google untill they roll out their social project. I’m a believer in +1 but I don’t think I believe in people being able to use it. As was the case with Google Wave.

When the Internet Thinks It Knows You

Like the old gatekeepers, the engineers who write the new gatekeeping code have enormous power to determine what we know about the world. But unlike the best of the old gatekeepers, they don’t see themselves as keepers of the public trust. There is no algorithmic equivalent to journalistic ethics.

via When the Internet Thinks It Knows You – NYTimes.com.