The Next Web’s Brian McCarty and Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan both noticed something on Google in the past few days.When you search something, say “groin rashes” as McCarty did, Google gives you a link offering you to “Ask on Google+.”
In McCarty’s case, Google asked him, “Want to ask your friends about groin rashes? Ask on Google+,” and he’s not too happy about it. In his article, he writes, “I understand that your goal is to get everybody using Google+ and I know your reasons behind it. But I’m pretty put off by being asked on EVERY SINGLE SEARCH QUERY whether or not I’d like to ask my friends about something. It’s like the Facebook share button on a porn site. There are things that I don’t ever want to talk to my friends about, even if they’re not embarrassing, so please stop asking me.”
Sullivan echoed his sentiment and stated, “However, there’s no particular intelligence going on behind this prompt. It shows up for every search, which means you can have lots of fun with it.” He then gives the following example:
Clearly, Sullivan and McCarty are right. There is no need for this to be offered for every search query. It’s another way for Google to integrate their own social network, Google+, into search results. And while we have discussed the possible impacts of Search, plus Your World before, this feels like a bit more of an intrusion. It’s well-known that users tend to head to their social networks when a search query doesn’t give them the results they want, and because of this, the “Ask on Google+” link feels a bit pushy. No one likes someone who is constantly giving you unsolicited advice, and this is what that link feels like.
It’s clear that Google+ is here to stay, and Search, plus Your World is a solid integration of search and social, search should remain Google’s primary service. What do you think? Do you find the “Ask on Google+” link as annoying as McCarty and Sullivan do? Let us know in the comments!