Posted by: Marshall Sponder | June 11, 2008

FriendFeed as a Social Aggregator for Google

In Friendfeed Can Disrupt Search and Reshape Advertising Steve Rubel falls over himself about FriendFeed (my FriendFeed page is here, by the way – please feel free to subscribe to it) but I am hoping he starts showing me (via Video) why he thinks FriendFeed is so hot.

I mean, I’ve had FriendFeed since the first week it came out, a couple of months ago, and I think it’s interesting – but I wan to see how people are using it – see it – not just read about it – and so far, what I’ve read is either going right past me, at least, till tonight.

True, FriendFeed is a place that aggregates the contents of what your friends and subscribers to your own feed are doing and it lets you comment on it – but it’s still a lot of work to read through it.

Steve Rubel mentions the “excellent Search Engine” that FriendFeed has – and I tested it out on the query of “Web Analytics” which showed me what I said or anyone else who is connected to me via FriendFeed said, chronologically.

But I’ll argue that FriendFeed becomes really much more valuable if it was hooked up to the entire web – in other words, if “Google” just embedded FriendFeed into it’s Search and used the Search and Web History (allowing people to comment, or, at least, reflect, by their behavior, how they felt about the content of the search results they read – and then used that information to further rank the results ….. perhaps then we’d have something to really talk about).

And the funny thing is Google could, in fact, do this – they have the power and capacity to pull this one off – if they’d concentrate on Search and Social Media and stop trying to take over the world – as I mentioned in a post over at Webmetricsguru titled Google as The Government.

Think about it – Google Search Results aren’t too good – depending on back links and trust rank has been gamed so much the Search Index is full of spam, and it’s getting worse. In fact, people are losing faith in Google as provider of usable information – as in Losing Trust in Google?

“Google was much more random in it’s application of “penalties” or “trust filters” in the past. A site could go anywhere in the SERP‘s or indeed not appear. But now it falls [ or rises ] into different levels [ minus penalties ] site wide. And sometimes for keywords from what I can see.”

All Google can do to fix the problem they created by depending on page rank and the 130 or so other factors (signals) is make continual attempts to filter out sites that offend the results – but that’s like plugging a cracking dam with thousands of fingers – there’s so many holes in the dam, that no matter what Google does to fix the problems, new problems appear.

Just image if All Google’s search results were displayed much as FriendFeed is now …. and of course, it would not be exactly like FriendFeed, as you’d not want to “subscribe” to everyone’s FriendFeed (or would you?).

I think the future of Search is something that takes part of what FriendFeed is becoming and mashes it into the Search Results – and then throws out Page Rank – links are not longer very useful, in my opinion as a way to determine influentials – I think it’s quality of content that will do that – and the best way to determine quality is not via an automated algorithm but though the comments and input of people – much as FriendFeed allows you to comment on the results of what your friends are doing.

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