Despite my initial doubts that Google would unfairly promote Google+ in search, new data shows that Google is, in fact, pushing Google+ in front of search users, with or without “Search, Plus Your World” (SPYW). SPYW personalized results can be turned off with a simple click, meaning that the users can choose not to see results from friends, but this doesn’t stop Google from promoting Google+ other ways. The screenshot below is self-explanatory:
Some of the featured people and businesses on Google+ deserve to be there – these are prominent web personalities. However, the move is detrimental for small businesses and people, who are equally skilled as Seth Godin, for example, but not as popular with communities on any social networks. As a general rule, self promoters get a big popularity plus, while other marketing experts, who avoid the “me, me, me” approach to personal branding, are stuck in a loser scenario.
As much as popular people and communities deserve our accolades, is it fair for Google to push them in search results? You have to understand that Google doesn’t push these people and brands out of pure altruism, but to bait and hook more users to Google+.