This video shown on TechCrunch shows an example of Google evolving. The change in search output is clearly demonstrated to show a new bias toward its own Google+ social results. My key concern is that the core service (of search) could be compromised. In these terms, to do this in order to promote a new product, seems non-sensical.
Far more than simply delivering the most relevant and appropriate results, Google may begin to risk its champion position of information and truth deliverer to the world.
GoogleMail already offers a rich harvest of personal data, now Google+ is being grown to produce new information fodder. Provided this is done in a clear mutually benefitting way, that is transparent and honest, swathes of our population will be happy to proceed. We can have no issue with this since it is likely to benefit all actors. Further we have not had just cause to complain about this in the past for which the Google market capitalization stands testament to.
The devil may appear in the deception; to lead users along a different social path to which they otherwise would not have ordinarily taken. However it is important to note that adverts are different – these have big signposts on the entry to the path to warn what they are and how they got there.
Many of the great writers in making many of their great stories impose a narrative where the champion is compelled to impose a deception onto our subjects. As observed by Banquo on reflection following his and Macbeth’s visit to the foretelling witches:
But ’tis strange;
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s
In deepest consequence—
I don’t believe that shareholder pressure or the zeal to beat Facebook will cause Google to sacrifice their relevancy in search, but the times are certainly testing.