No Google, I don’t want to ask my friends about itchy rashes

No Google, I don’t want to ask my friends about itchy rashes

Hi Google. First off I have to say thanks for what you folks do. I use a lot of your services every single day and I’m a big fan of your company’s work. Sometimes you do some things that really annoy me, and today I keep spotting one of them so I have to talk about it. It’s this:

I understand that your goal is to get everybody using Google+ and I know your reasons behind it. But I’m pretty put off by being asked on EVERY SINGLE SEARCH QUERY whether or not I’d like to ask my friends about something. It’s like the Facebook share button on a porn site. There are things that I don’t ever want to talk to my friends about, even if they’re not embarrassing, so please stop asking me.

I suppose it could be worse. You could have it sitting prominently at the top of the page. Or you could force me to go to Google+ and do my searching from there, as you’re forcing the hands of new Google account owners to sign up for the service. But even without these over-the-top scenarios, it’s still invasive and it’s annoying.

Surely you remember those terrible eBay ads that you all used to host. You know the ones where people would do a search for dirty needles on Google, then eBay would advertise “GET THE BEST PRICES ON NEW AND USED DIRTY NEEDLES AT EBAY”? That’s what your nagging suggestion in the search results reminds me of.

You’re supposed to be the master of context. Why then is it so hard to simply change the settings so that this suggestion will appear only when someone asks a question on Google? Wouldn’t it have better context that way, and thereby be a better call to action? This is elementary marketing.

We understand that your company is now innately tied to social, to the point of people’s bonuses depending on its success. But you’re making billions each quarter and yet people are leaving their cushy Google jobs in search for something else. Maybe, for the good of your company, you need to take the innovation that got you to Google+ and apply it to advertising the service too.

At the very least, get rid of the bar. It’s annoying, it’s ineffective and it makes you look bad.

This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.

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