Google Plus released a search function this week, months after the search giant’s social network went live. The People search part at least is remarkably un-useful. I think there are huge opportunities in discovery of people but apparently Google thinks not so much, so far at least.
People search searches the About pages of peoples’ Google Plus profiles as a full-text search. There doesn’t appear to be any relevance ranking in the People Search results pages, either. So you get a lot of very random results.
Search for anthropologists and it does identify people who use the word anthropology in their About page, but they seem pretty random. Some of them are anthropologists, though. Search for people with the keyword baseball and the #1 result is an online marketer named Kevin Palmer who filled out the bragging rights section of his profile with the words “I got hit in the same spot on my leg in a high school baseball game.” I guess he means twice? I don’t know. Odd choice for the #1 search result from the #1 search company in the world. Maybe it will get better with time. I see that he’s following me on Plus though so maybe the results are different for everyone. Odd.
I hope it becomes awesome someday. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to find baseball playing anthropologists and pop a handful of them into a Circle?
Disclosure: I’m on the Google Plus suggested users list and thus have an economic interest in not criticizing the service.