A tale of two searches: Google+ and Diversity, part 4

cross-posted on Google+ and Dreamwidth
Check out the previous posts in the series
: A Work in Progress, Why it matters, and #nymwars!

Google+ in rainbow colorsHere’s a good example of how Google+ is already influencing search results. I’ve got screenshots below for two searches on nymwars, one when I’m logged into G+ and the other when I’m not logged in.

A couple things to notice here:

  • s.e. smith’s excellent Where Identity and Capitalism Collide on Tiger Beatdown is on the list when I’m logged in, presumably because I’ve circled s.e. on G+ and several other people I followed also shared or reshared the post. Go s.e.! It’s a very good example of the potential advantages bloggers (and businesses, once they’re allowed on) can get from being part of G+
  • Skud’s nymwars strategy discussion only shows up indirectly — the version reshared by Crystal Rehula. This is kind of weird, because Skud’s post has 123 shares, and I’m following her as well as Crystal. So it’s a great example of how Google+’s naming policy penalizes people like Skud whose names they don’t like.

Robert Scoble: SKUD isn't welcome here unless she uses a common name.

Sure you can read Skud elsewhere if you can find her. But what if she doesn’t show up in search?

And it’s not just Skud. After looking at Geek Feminism’s Who is harmed by a real names policy? and My Name is Me, whenever somebody says something like “no reason G+ needs to be for everyone” what I hear is “no reason G+ needs to be for women, LGBTQs, people with disabilities, activists, whistleblowers, teachers, etc. etc.” Because, y’know, why would anybody want those people in our search results?

It seems so obvious to me. I wonder why Robert, Joseph, Bradley, and Vic can’t see it?


Update, August 18: in the excellent G+ discussion, Fedor Pikus discussed the various “signals” that feed into Google search, and highlighted that right now G+ is only a very small component. And sure enough, today s.e. smith’s post is high on the list whether or not I’m logged in. But Skud’s still rendered invisible.

Not logged in::

Google search results for nymwars when not logged in, Liminal States at #5

Logged in:

Google results for nymwars when logged in, Liminal States at #7