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Google pushing profiles; even on a site search operator
Written by David Harry
Monday, 19 December 2011 07:03

Ok, maybe not entirely news-worthy, but I thought it interesting none-the-less.

I was sitting here getting the SGS Podcast together for this week. The guest is Wil Reynolds and since he's been on the show before I figured I'd just search the site and grab the pic of him from last time for this week's show. So off I went to use the site: command. Here's what I got back;

Google profile pic in site search

Sure, I am logged in, but I really wasn't looking for a G+ profile. Kinda why I used the site: operator right? I can't say I've seen this before and it is a little creepy as far as pimping their own properties. I generally give them a break on this kinda dealy but this one was just too odd not to share.

Anyone seen this before? Are they getting a little aggressive with self-promotion? I leave it to you... drop yer thoughts in the comments.

David Harry -

Hi my name is Dave and I, am an algo-holic

I am an avid search geek that spends most of his time reading about and playing with search engines. My main passion has always been about the technical side of things from a strong perspective rooted in IR and related technologies.You can find me providing SEO consulting services for Verve Developments.

You can also hook up with me via


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Last Updated on Monday, 19 December 2011 07:31


0 #1 Barry Adams 2011-12-19 07:13
State of Search reported on it last week. I'm not a fan. On regular searches, instead of sending people to the site they actually want to go to - the person's personal website in most cases - Google now wants searchers to go to Google+. Screw that.

Especially in the case of limiting operators like yours when you're really not looking for a G+ profile page but they still shove it in your face. That's just vulgar.
0 #2 chrisfromthadtothaph 2011-12-19 07:26
I agree..

This whole Google + thing is sort of like the QR Code. It's just pointless. Why would anyone want to see conversations when in reality they want to get straight to search results VS Why anyone would want to point their cell phone at something to get information. You're too late so why try pushing something down our throat.

0 #3 David Harry 2011-12-19 07:41
Yea Barry and that's the thing. If I am searching a person and am logged in, it (sort of) makes sense to be showing various social profiles, including Google's. As you know, I don't have a MASSIVE issue with them promoting their own products. But in this case I am OBVIOUSLY looking for something on a given domain using a tool (site: operator) that they have in the system. To me, that is taking things a wee bit too far.
0 #4 wil reynolds 2011-12-19 07:52
I have seen them do this for quora too....if you are logged in and google your name and quora is a result, it will say something like "is this you" and then do you want to connect your quora account to your google profile?
0 #5 David Harry 2011-12-19 07:58
We've (dojo chat room gang) playing with it more and it produces on pretty much any entity search on any site via site: operator.

I've been saying it for a while now; Entities. goes beyond local, beyond businesses, beyond citations... those are just elements. Entity association, the social graph and personalization . We'll be seeing a lot more of it.
0 #6 Michael Martinez 2011-12-20 11:03
I have been seeing this for at least a couple of weeks. I'm guessing it's either an experiment to see how well people respond to seeing the pictures (I see all sorts of profile images when I am logged in and searching Google) or maybe they're just hoping to entice more people to use Google+ instead of Facebook.

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