Google recently added forum results to its search listings. The aim is to include more social media in its results mix. But is it a good idea?
Well they say variety is the spice of life and it terms of delivering a wide scope of options, including social media would be a good thing. This move also allows Google to seem current and with the times as it acknowledges the importance and popularity of social media. At the very least it offers a useful search tool for use on the networking sites themselves.
On the other hand, with literally billions of web pages available, we all know the internet is also crammed full of useless information and all too often we have to filter through it to find what we want. Would linking to social networking opinion threads represent the latest version of this dross?
To give Google and alike their due, the accuracy of their searches is good. They know that presenting users with poor search returns would be bad for business, so relevancy is a major factor for them. This therefore should ensure that what social media additions they make should be pretty relevant and this can only enhance the options available.
The key is maintaining clarity in the presentation of the results. As long as the user knows that they are opinion posts to discussion threads etc, they are empowered to continue to assess the information presented as before.
So variety and more information have to be good things, as long as they are displayed in the right way – and that is surely the goal for any website at any time.