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Google Adds People Profiles to Web Search Results

     
9:44 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The offical Google blog is reporting [googleblog.blogspot.com] that Google profiles are now being added to US search results, as well as links to other social networking sites:

To give you greater control over what people find when they search for your name, we've begun to show Google profile results at the bottom of U.S. name-query search pages. These results offer abbreviated information from user-created Google profiles and a link to the full profiles. We've also added links so it's easy to search for the same name on MySpace, Facebook, Classmates and LinkedIn.

Clearly this is a big incentive to sign up for a Google profile, and adds a bit of competition for all the ego-surfers out there ;)

11:49 am on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'll pass. The way I see it I figure they already know enough about me :P
2:48 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Wow does that seem like a bad idea. I can't think of one reason I would use that.
3:07 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'll pass too. I'm already a little paranoid with how much Facebook knows about me (personally). I prefer to have at least a little anonymity on the 'net overall.
5:33 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm easy to find online, and I like to be. Not sure whether I should do this or not, for that reason. I'd rather people just went straight to my site, which comes up #1 for a search on my name at present....
6:02 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Why do I detect 'Big Brother' is somewhere hiding in the bushes with an evil grin...
6:33 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how long this will last when people realize that they can post profiles for other people... and have them rank on searches.
6:43 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm. This could give everyone the same "opportunities" that those running for office have on google. Search on "barack obama" and you get offered "Secret barack obama info" in an ad. Soon it will be ads like, "Secret Receptional Andy info." Or, "The TRUTH about Travlin Cat."

You should have really been nicer when you broke up with that last lover.

Seriously, this is Google Linkin. And it's a smart move on their part, especially in this economy. Don't you google people you are hiring?

6:58 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Heh, my name happens to be the same as a celebrity, so you could dig several pages deep into the serps without ever finding me...

... and I don't mind one bit <g>.

7:43 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just noticed that today. I googled a girls name in my company who I went out with today for lunch.

Im wondering if they get some info from Facebook and MySpace data centers, cause the page also listed the places she lived.

You should have really been nicer when you broke up with that last lover.
A girl that I didnt want to be reminded of added me on facebook the other day! I noticed im too addicted to Facebook and my network to be able to sign out!
7:43 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I also pass, I also see Google as Big Brother so why give them more, anyway there is just to much personal info around the net from different people, they could begin to Protect the users instead.
7:53 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a reasonable move. Google Search already shows results for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles, so it makes perfect sense to index Google profiles as well.

As for privacy, there's no need to fill in all the blanks in a Google profile.

8:08 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I don't see any privacy issue, as these are all profiles that require a user to sign up, and opt to publish their information. It's quite easy to be "ex-directory".

Searching for things like names and companies has happened since long before the internet (like telephone directories) - I've always been surprised that none of the major search engines has really exploited this. I mean, we've all searched for someone's name on Google, haven't we?

8:38 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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ohh another thing, in a way I think google is going in the wrong way, I think the future of the net will be more Protection for the user, means also not everything has to be published, more private networks, as a example on my new site I let the user decide if he/She wants anything been present on a SE or not, it dos not matter if its a text, image what ever and people like that.

I also see more sites where you have to login before you can do anything and only frontpage is in the Google index.

8:50 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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maybe they can put a picture of your house alongside it as well, from google street view. and snippets of your emails.
8:53 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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londrum that was a good one, I think they also plan to get your Gens indexed, maybe they could ad that also.
9:00 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I am one of those people with a unique name. And I am not someone with a position in society that causes others to publish much stuff about me. The first factor means that I can forget anything about being invisible on the Internet. And the two factors in combination mean that I would be able to manipulate to a high degree what Google shows on page 1 for a search for my name. So for me, this new initiative by Google does not really make any difference.

But for those with much more common names, this may be the time to seriously reconsider how they would prefer their presence on the Internet to show.

9:02 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think it's fair to say that I'm a strong advocate of privacy rights. But let's not get too carried away. These are opt-in services that users have to sign up for, and even when they have, can opt out of public display. It's trivial to remain unavailable on such services - you don't have to do anything.

There are clear dangers of both abuse of the system, and an expansion of the scope of Google's method, but IMO that's for a different discussion.

As it is, it seems to me that people who don't object to being found in Google for their name (and even their photograph) get (optional) additional exposure.

9:16 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think Yerrbo has a good point.

What's to keep someone with an axe to grind from creating a fake profile, filling it with disparaging information, and getting it to rank on the first page for a name search?

9:29 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What's to keep someone with an axe to grind from creating a fake profile, filling it with disparaging information, and getting it to rank on the first page for a name search?

I would class that as "abuse of the system", arieng. IMO, this requires sites that publish personal information to police their members effectively.

More generally, I wouldn't want to be unduly practical and look at Google's record on, for instance, local search to determine how safe and reliable the data is. But I believe it's a wider problem than whether any individual company is reprocessing publicly available data.

How do you know someone on the internet is who they say they are? Basically, you don't. But you haven't had any evidence-based confirmation that most of the people you meet day-to-day are who they say they are, either. We all rely on other things than search engines for that ;)

9:43 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm, I wonder how people reacted when the phone companies proposed a directory with everyone's phone number and address (and then charge you, if you DON'T want to be included).
10:04 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Clearly this is a big incentive to sign up for a Google profile, and adds a bit of competition for all the ego-surfers out there.

You know what I see? Google trying to get their fingers into the Social Media market. And just think, what if they cut juice off from all the popular profiles and left it on for Google profiles? Nah, they surely wouldn't do that.

I see some "double standards" issues arising when certain SM sites pass equity and others don't. Hey, I'm an avid supporter of Google Search, but they missed that Social Media Ship and it might be a little too late to join the party.

I know its tough Google, seeing all the stories about Twitter lately and very little Google. Or at least that is how it seems. Twitter this, Twitter that, FB this, FB that. Everyone is talking about Social Media and poor Google is left standing there with Search, what do we do now? I think this is the year that Search changes face 180 degrees. Big shakeups before the end of 2009. That's my prediction. It's almost a given in the current economy. :(

11:04 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[ Why do I detect 'Big Brother' is somewhere hiding in the bushes with an evil grin... ]

Now, from the bushes, Big Brother is waving a flag with a big "G" on it and he's starting to droll and foam at the mouth....

11:20 pm on Apr 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You know what I see? Google trying to get their fingers into the Social Media market. And just think, what if they cut juice off from all the popular profiles and left it on for Google profiles? Nah, they surely wouldn't do that.

No, they wouldn't, based on their past and current behavior. (Look up "search engine" in Google, and you'll find Google in the #7 position. They still include AltaVista and Lycos, for heaven's sake. So why even speculate that they'd ever "cut the juice off" from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn?)

1:08 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Great, I already got the NSA, CIA, FBI and NAACP spying on me and reading my emails and listening in on my cell phone conversations....

Now this.

1:38 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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PageOne,

--seeing all the stories about Twitter lately and very little Google--

I might be wrong on this one, but didn't I hear rumor recently that big G is Buying little "t"? for heaven's sake.

there you go: you might been googleT, if so.

1:45 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm, I wonder how people reacted when the phone companies proposed a directory with everyone's phone number and address (and then charge you, if you DON'T want to be included).

Maybe Google could introduce a "reverse Inktomi" concept: PFE (Pay For Exclusion).

4:16 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Great, I already got the NSA, CIA, FBI and NAACP spying on me and reading my emails and listening in on my cell phone conversations....

Someone has been a bad boy...

8:54 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"I don't see any privacy issue, as these are all profiles that require a user to sign up, and opt to publish their information. It's quite easy to be "ex-directory"

Says us (the technically ninjered)...

Most Facebookers I've spoken with don't even know what Privacy options are or how to set them. one thing is providing the functionality and another is providing a simple explanation of what it does and why it might be important.

In between there are lots of online businesses at the moment, doing a lots of profile personal data exploitation.

2clean the web is what we need to do :)

9:17 am on Apr 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Trial by Google?

Guilty!

How reassuring.

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45
 

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