• http://www.audettemedia.com Adam Audette

    This is a fascinating interview. Thank you Danny for pressing hard, and thank you Amit for being candid. Opens up many more questions, but also paints a clearer picture about Google’s vision with Search Plus. It really is all out war between Google and Facebook, and to a lesser extent Twitter (and yes, Bing. I almost forgot you). Let the games begin. (And please would someone start a meaningful, fresh search engine?)

  • http://www.kayakcreative.ca/blog K.C.

    Google+ Your World limits real results. Danny, I’m so glad you posed these questions. I feel Amit did some side-stepping and answered some of your questions in a less than open way. Having personally been misled by Google’s results (it was great to see one of our website pages on the first page of results, only to realize it was there due to me being signed in – it was a few pages deeper in non-influenced organic results – working to raise it), I now log out of Google prior to conducting searches. From my perspective, that of a principle in an Internet marketing firm, I feel Google’s transparency if definitely in question…

  • http://fjpoblam fjpoblam

    For me, I think the point he’s (G’s) missing is that now,

    (1) G assumes that G products are one of the “people I care about”
    (2) the search results are becoming tilted toward what “the people I care about” think should be the answer.

    I want search results addressing the topic of the search, in descending order by relevance, whether the answers are provided by “people I care about” or not (and in my case, I’d just as soon not have machine-generated assumptions based upon who *I* may seem to be or deductions about commercial products *I* may like.)

  • http://www.gamerstube.com Joe Youngblood

    Really Amit?
    “once you build a great product that users love, then someone else can decide the fate of that product. That was a very bad experience for Google’s users” do you think third party groups that use your API’s and other services like “Site Search” are providing the best user experience because they rely on you and you make changes all the time? NO.

    Site search was always a joke because of it’s lack of abilities to sort through content, and it’s based on Google’s ability to index a page. Now after Panda that is much worse.

    How is this not a promotional unit for G+ the title of the feature box is “People and Pages on Google+” That sort of makes it abundantly clear what your goal is.

    Google is pushing down paid ads in order to promote one single service that happens to be owned by Google. If Google + was the bees knees then why does Google’s other destination property, YouTube, integrate facebook’s open graph far more than it does anything with Google+ ?

  • http://thenoisychannel.com/ Daniel Tunkelang

    Danny, I’ve had the privilege to work with Amit and Matt, and I respect them both deeply. But I feel here like Google made a high-profile mistake and they are in the unhappy position of having to defend it. The “Don’t Be Evil” tool is just a proof-of-concept, but it makes its point effectively: Google can do better by users than Search Plus Your World (SPYW). Perhaps my peers and I are not representative users, but we’ve found that SPYW degrades the user experience, and that the “Don’t Be Evil” tool produces consistently better results. I hope that Google can get past its initial defensive reaction and stay true to its founding value of putting users first. Even if that means forgoing opportunities to promote Google+.

  • http://www.AccessFirefox.org Ken Saunders

    “This is the first two weeks of the product”
    That was mentioned a few times and as a primary defense (it’s also an admission that there are problems), so (going on that defense), it seems as if Google shut down Labs too soon. Although, and of course, you get greater use and feedback when you release an alpha product as a release one.

    Perhaps they don’t care about all of the negative press and potential litigation, but they could have run SPYW through some testing with people who aren’t actually employed by Google. Like people in your industry, people with and without Google+ or Google accounts.
    If they had done that, then it may have at least appeared as if they weren’t simply trying promote Google+.

    In any event, SPYW destroys the increasingly degrading Google search I once loved and trusted for the best, relevant results and I will switch to Bing before being forced to work with it. When I, a non-popular person was searching for a well known and positioned organization (Mozilla) while logged into Google and saw 5 of my own Google+ posts listed as search results (numbers 2-7), I knew that is what time to reconsider my default search engine.

    Just gives us the search that you promised us. The one that made you.

  • http://www.AccessFirefox.org Ken Saunders

    *I knew that it was time to reconsider my default search engine.

    And to find a comment proofreader :|

  • http://mostlycloudycode.net Rich Miles

    I find it easy to believe that Google is, in fact, seeing positive feedback from the user base. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily something that should be celebrated. It’s pretty well established that Google has well over 1 billion unique visitors every month. Of those only ~90 million have tried Google+. That is less than 10%. We know that a much smaller percent actually uses Google+ on a regular basis. Of those how many are Google fanatics? I would wager it’s a lot. Of course they like the service.

    Put another way, more than 90% of Google’s users don’t know about or don’t see value in Google+. Even worse, they have created a situation where many in the blogosphere (right or not) are writing about switching to Bing or documenting how Bing’s results are actually decent.

    Google should have built up the Google+ engagement before releasing SPYW. As it stands now, Google is saying that social is important but it doesn’t have a good signal. If social integration really delivers better results, I *should* be using Bing. They play nice with Facebook and Twitter.

  • mesel

    Hard to believe Amit feeding such BS. I truly hope he does not believe it, not the guy I once knew.

    But for what it’s worth:
    “once you build a great product that users love, then someone else can decide the fate of that product. That was a very bad experience for Google’s users”

    Rumor has it that Amit and search team were in support of renewing the twitter-google deal. However Vic vetoed it, because for obvious reason twitter did not want Google to build it’s own social network by leveraging twitter’s data, and that did not align with G+.

    It’s clearly not about what standards or APIs need to be invented but rather how any web company, except poor wikipedia I suppose, can trust Google with it’s data and not get commoditized the very next day. Google is no longer in the business of sending traffic, they want to be the destination for answering any question. ITA and travel integration is the most recent example, no wonder all travel sites panicked.

    A very senior Google VP recently said: “currently google is kind of stealing knowledge from other websites, we’d like to get to a point where we can augment or even infer knowledge.” I wish Google would rather focus on that instead of copying the every single hot company in the valley.

  • http://gpysports.org/webmaster.html Jim Mooney

    Google fought SOPA. Facebook and Twitter begged off. Maybe we should patronize the guys who fight for us, instead of the guys who sit on the sidelines.

  • http://www.nathanielbailey.co.uk Nathaniel Bailey

    I dont get this bit that Singhal said “But when you’re developing a product, you don’t want to develop it for one segment of the population.” How can he say that when thats just what google has done by only giving social listings from G+ and not FB and Twitter etc?

    Also, if this is a “new product” why didn’t google add it as a new search feature rather then replacing what already works? Brings an old saying to mind “dont fix something that dont need fixing!”

    Google Search Your World should have been added as a secondary social search feature, not the default search feature which not everyone would want to use as its not going to help when doing general searches for products etc, or at least not in my opinion it doesn’t.

    For example: If I was searching for shoes, jeans, or even wall paper, why would I want people I know on G+ to come up on the top of the results page? I don’t know anyone that would have anything relevant to general shopping terms I would look for so why would I want to see a link to their G+ account rather then sites which can help me to find what I want?

    I think google have made a big mistake by making the new “Social Search Feature” (and thats all it is tbh, so thats what I will be calling it) its default search listings, it should have been made as a secondary search feature and the standard search we all know works should have stayed as the default because at least with that google had relevant listings in the majority!

  • Chas

    Amit Singhal should run for President; he already knows how to double-speak, side-step the issues and pick the polls that best support his organization’s actions. Is Rome starting to burn?