Previously, Google have only promoted their own social network, Google+, in search results. This has caused controversy and received criticism in the past with other social networks being unfairly ignored, even when they provided the best/most up-to-date data.
Search Engine Land refresh our memory of the controversy in 2012 when their new feature called “Search Plus Your World” only showed links from Google+. This neglected other social networks, even when the person in question was more active there. This ultimately led to Google being accused of putting its own content above other (better) content. It even led to the production of a “Don’t Be Evil” tool, which was created to show that Google was placing its content above others at the expense of the user. The tool allowed users to see results from other social networks alongside Google+.
Whilst this criticism seems to have calmed since then, Google has still been accused of favouring its own content over better content on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It seems now that Google are working to remedy that, by showing rival social networks alongside their own in the knowledge graph. It seems that Google have decided that they should focus on what’s better for the user – not just what’s best for Google – after all.
So, if nothing else, Google can hope that this change will quiet those accusations even further.
At the moment, the social links aren’t in all Knowledge Graph panels. Different social sites also appear for different searches, perhaps at least partly a result of some people/bands etc not having accounts across all social media.
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