Google's ultimate social network

Thu 23 April 2009 10:53, Bas van den Beld

Google's ultimate social network

You can have 10.000 friends on Twitter, you can have 5.000 on Facebook or you can be the most active Linkedin-member ever, but eventually it always comes down to Google.

You Google your own name, you Google the name of the person you're about to meet or just met. And then you get back results from blogs, the above mentioned social networks or other related sites.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a result ONLY about the person you're looking for? Just a simple contact page? Google now provides us with that with the launch of Google Profile. Eventually THE ultimate social network...

With Google Profile you can now make your existing profile available for the world. In the Google search results a "profile results" section will appear when looking for a specific name. With a link to the profile page off course. The profile page has a url which ends with your profile name.

“People have no control over how they appear when other people search for them on Google. That’s a big issue we’ve heard,” said Joe Kraus, a director of product management at Google. “The new results are to better control what people see and improve the ability for people to fine what they’re looking for.”

Googling_yourself

The feature is for now only available in the United States, therefore most Europeans will be able to make the page won't be able to verify it (has to be done through Knol).

However, you can edit your page so it can feature in the Google search results and have a url with your profile name in it. Check out www.google.com/profiles to learn more.

This action by Google is a fairly simple step for Google to make. A small step for Google, a big step for searchers so to say. And a very smart one. Those not interested in Social Networks will probably be interested in this feature since everybody wants to be found in Google. Most people won't see any objection to having this kind of profile page which you can edit yourself. A quick search in Twitter shows that in the first day many were editting their profile pages right away. Something that probably will continue in the forthcoming weeks.

The profile page will be a search tool as well. There are some elements which will help you rank better. For example, you can place links in your bio-box. These link don't have 'nofollow' on them but won't pass Pagerank. Besides that you can add a lot of links in the links-section.

If people start linking to the profile pages when writing about a specific person instead of Wikipedia it can even be more interesting than imagined.

One thing that will be interesting is how Google is going to handle the 'business' accounts. You can already see businesses making a profile, who will then popping up between persons in the results.

With this step Google also places itself 'above' the social networks. With that gaining even more authority. In my opinion Google made a very smart move with this feature. It's a simple move but it immediately sees its results.
Google_profile

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