back to article Google plus Google Plus: You give us info, we sell it!

Google has bolted posts created in its invite-only social network Google+ into its search estate. Mountain View began applying "social" elements to its search engine in 2009. But it is now ramping up that effort after launching Google+ in late June this year. Search queries that include results from Google+ will only be …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up


    Finally, a way to keep a huge chunk of the irrelevant bullshit out of your Google search results.

    Stay logged out of your Google account by default.

    Presumably this isn't quite what Google had in mind, but thanks anyway guys. Now, if they would just extend this so that things picked up from all the other "social networking" sites only appeared if you were logged into a Google account too.......

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a thought

    So here's a thought. Google makes money from advertisers by charging them every time it serves me a page. It is therefore clear that my search is of value to Google. It only seems fair that they should share that revenue with me. Indeed, since the volume of searches helps to drive up the costs they can charge, they really ought to pay me for each search I do, even if I don't follow any paid links.

    How about a campaign - No $$, No Searches?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I think Bing tried that one already

      Didn't see to help much

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother


      You know how commerce works right?

      When you walk in to Marks and Spencer and buy a pair of underpants, they get your money and you get the underwear. When you search on Google, they get the money and you get the search results.

      …unless they start offering some sort of loyalty card. Ten searches and the next one’s free…

    3. R 11

      What browser do you use?

      If you use Firefox, they share revenue with you. That's where your free browser came from.

      If you use Chrome, they share revenue with you. That's where your free browser came from.

      Indeed, if you use Google, they share revenue with you. That's where your free search engine came from.

      Do you expect ITV to send you a cheque because you watched four adverts during The Bill?

      1. Rob Dobs

        Yeah maybe

        I get your point, but with increasing competition and available entertainment, I think that is a reasonable expectation soon. Especially with DVR/Tivo I really don't have to watch commercials anymore... For the producers of things that consume time, they should seriously consider ways to share ad revenue (even if its lottery style contest winnings etc, like radio uses to get listeners) My personal time is precious to me, my personal information as well.

        I search on Google I get a free result, you miss that they get my human intervention at refining their search system. If I (and all others) are not using them they are nothing.

        Google and Facebook have shown disregard for my value, thus no personal information. You sir are a whore and are giving it away for free... I will remain a high price call girl (we're both getting fucked by the system either way, but you might as well get your cut....)

  3. Tim Parker

    Fish. Barrel.

    "That said, we at Vulture Central can confirm the existence of two blatantly fake accounts created on the network that have yet to be deleted by the Chocolate Factory overlords."

    I mean, i'm no great evangelist for Google, but wow ! At least 2 in 25 million or so ?... you must be immensely proud, clever old you, that really showed 'em !

    1. Natalie Gritpants

      I've got 1 fake out of 1 attempt so far.

      Or do you really think my name is Aaron Aardvark?

      Kind regards,

      Barry Biscuit. (next months ID)

  4. localgeek

    So far, so good

    As long as they continue to respect the difference between a public and a private post shared only with intended circles, I don't have a problem with the current business model. I moved from Facebook (although I keep a foot over there for my slower friends), precisely because of the control I have over my content. If Google wants to keep people like me, they'll continue to respect that content in private circles remains that way.

  5. BobR

    Another Wave

    Remember when people thought Google Wave was going to be cool? Yeah, not so much. I know some people are using it, but it has pretty much withered away. The solution is simple: don't use google+. Few of the Facebook users seem highly motivated to leave, even with their parents on the site. I can't walk down the hall in our college without seeing facebook open on at least 75% of the phones and laptops.

    I know everyone thinks google is cool, and it does have some cool toys, very cool, but if you scratch the surface, they aren't all that great. The same way I have yet to see a reason to switch from Firefox to Chrome or to buy a macbook just because that's what people think is cool.

    1. Kevin Bailey

      I'll help...

      'switch from Firefox to Chrome' - because chrome is significantly faster.

      'buy a macbook' - because they much better than standard Windows based laptops and will cost you less in the long run - let alone the fact that having a faster PC/laptop is simply better cos life is too short.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        If that's help, I'd hate to see your obstruction

        "'switch from Firefox to Chrome' - because chrome is significantly faster."

        And why would that matter? I lose approximately nothing to the small amount of time it takes Firefox to do things, because I know how to multitask. The delta with Chrome would be completely insignificant. What *is* significant is 1) having a piece of software that's already familiar, so I don't have to learn new habits; and 2) having all of the development plugins that are available for Firefox. Speed is not a compelling reason for me, and I doubt it is for most other serious users.

        "'buy a macbook' - because they much better than standard Windows based laptops and will cost you less in the long run"

        Complete crap. Macbooks are made from the same components and by the same manufacturers as the major Windows laptop brands. (And spare me your anecdotal "evidence" of Mac reliability. I've had a half-dozen Thinkpads and a couple of Dell laptops as work machines - nearly always on and in use for maybe 50 hours/week on average, frequently transported and abused - and they've all lasted longer and with far fewer repairs than any of the various Macbooks owned by my wife, daughter, and friends.)

  6. Andrew Jones 2

    can you prove they are selling your info?

    Seems like a bit of dodgy legal ground the register is stepping into here - and printing it too!

    Can you actually prove that Google is selling advertisers your info?

    I rather suspect it is much more likely that Google will show ads to you FROM advertisers based on the info they know about you - rather than actually selling advertisers your info.

    What you are suggesting is that Google are selling your information to advertisers - meaning the advertisers know more about you - but that would be a rubbish business model for Google - as the advertiser could take your info away and use a different advertising service with the newly gained information.


    There is a difference in (for example) selling a 3rd party your phone number and address (so they can contact you directly) and providing an indirect means of getting in contact with a potential buyer.

    1. L1feless

      well said

      Andrew Jones 2 has made a great point. The difference is basically as simple as Facebook which allowed old apps to access and extract profile data without permission vs. Google which from all accounts thus far is allowing advertisers to target ads far more easily and at a much more granular level. The difference being that your personal details never leave their intended repository with the G+ model.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where does it say that?

      The article says that Google sells your info, not that Google sells that info *to advertisers*.

      Big difference. The first is clearly true, they are using information you post to sell search ads, the second is unknown.

    3. Rob Dobs
      Thumb Down

      Why sell what you can use best yourself.

      Who cares if they are selling it for profit, they ARE collecting it and using it to build monopolies in other areas. How long until they can skim your personal info for every source of revenue you have access to, I for one do not wan to feed this beast any more info.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no thanks

    so looks like my googleplus account will be remaining unused then

  8. L1feless

    I hope...

    1. That I can chose to filter out Social media form those search results

    2. That Google wakes up and smells the 1's & 0's. An online identity is just as good as an offline one. So long as that online identity uses the Google account who cares.

  9. sandman

    Mass and Inertia

    Don't underestimate the power of inertia. Being a bit technical like, I might think Google+ is the new dawn of happy social networking (I really don't, but let's pretend). Yay, good for me. Unfortunately many of my friends are non-techies/followers of the new and shiny and couldn't give a rats, they are perfectly happy on Facebook and so are their friends. So, unless G+ comes with a magic longevity pill (or loads of free stuff), they aren't moving, so neither am I.

    Huge mass of users equals huge inertia - see Microsoft. You'd need something much more disruptive to get the mass moving. While rapid movement in the technical space isn't unheard of, in the consumer space it's a little harder to achieve. Apple managed it with the iPad, but the imitators are in a similar position to Google, unless they can offer something really, really cool, whether in function, design or price terms, they'll always be sucking on hind tit.

    1. Ru

      Apple managed it with the iPad

      Disagree. Apple managed it with the iPhone, coming from more or less out of nowhere into the mobile phone market and destroying it for most of the incumbents by selling a well engineered device to even the non-technical public.

      With the iPad, they've created a new market, sure, but despite the hype it hasn't taken the world by storm. If there was really a market for tablets, other people might be making sales because they'd be solving a problem. But there's only an iPad market, and only because people want Shiny Apple Stuff. Until it actually solves a problem, it isn't exactly going to set the world on fire,

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sandman

      Anyone remember MySpace?

      Yes Facebook > MySpace ever was, but before Facebook was a glimmer in the old Zucker's eye... MySpace was the Facebook of that time and look where that is now. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to jump ship - a lot of Facebook users have already done it at least once before.

      *Disclaimer - this is not to say that "G+ Rulez" and/or "Facebook is teh suxors" - just that groupthink can work in both ways (i.e. all my friends are sticking where they're at vs. all my friends are going to jump off a cliff so now I am too).

  10. Jim 59


    Some day people will look back, amazed at all the creepy internet stuff that went on in 2000 - 2020, before people got the message about privacy.

  11. Jim 15

    G+ Button

    So when is The Reg going to add a Google+ button on its pages so that I can share articles there, like I can do for FBook and Twiiter?

  12. Michael Wojcik Silver badge


    "Cool! Now not only do I get some great reviews on the web, I get a review from a friend about a restaurant with recommendations about what dishes to order."

    What horrible sort of life devoid of real social contact must you lead to find that "cool"?

    I occasionally hear about restaurants my friends did or didn't like - in the course of normal conversation. I don't need to find "reviews" they've written (which are no doubt terribly well-informed and relevant to my personal preferences) on some substitution-for-real-interaction web site. That's not cool, of course; it's the sort of thing people have been doing since they came up with the idea of language. But it's also not pathetic, unlike Kamdar's comment.

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