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Should I Care About Google+?

Full disclosure: I didn’t want to like Google+.  Given Google’s track record of failure in the social media space, I thought my feelings would be a sure thing.  I wasn’t even alone.  Many still say it’s a ghost town.  When I log in to my account, the sparse updates I see would have me agree.  The big thing that’s been keeping me on thus far is Google+ Hangouts (if you have not tried a Hangout yet, join Google+, call 1 friend, tell them to join Google+, get each other in a Circle, and do it – even with all of those steps I promise it’s worth it).  But, some interesting news has come to light on Google+ that I need to share.  It’s making even me reconsider.

Google is rolling out a new feature called “Knowledge Graphs” over the next few days.  These Knowledge Graphs are going to show up on the right-hand side of your search results, in place of paid search ads.  See the screenshot below for a search I just ran on “Lady Gaga”:

google-search-result1-5369883

Note: I am not signed in to Google+!

There’s the typical search results in the center of the screen and then there on the right side… what’s that?  The Knowledge Graph for Lady Gaga.  Where the paid search ads used to be.  But, I’m not done.  Note 2 very important things about this results page:

  1. I am not logged in to my Google account.  Google is pulling this information on its own for me.
  2. Look at the very bottom of the Knowledge Graph – it’s showing me Lady Gaga’s latest post on Google+

While I can’t be sure where this is all headed, it looks like Google+ is getting deeper and deeper integration into Google results, whether I have an account and use it or not.  Considering Google has dominated the search world as the place to get information about a topic, perhaps I should get myself and my university more active on Google+.

By A Google+ Skeptic Kevin

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