In my previous post I wondered if social sharing services are breaking the web with data-rich hyperlinksÂ and today I would like to pose that social sharing services are breaking search. Let’s assume the following scenario: You search for Facebook “proprietary protocol”Â in Google Web (the “regular” Google) and are presented with the following results:
While we are used to skim through the results for the most relevant results, the social buttons produce an artifact that disrupts the search index. A result titled “Is VTP a proprietary protocol of CISCO?” is the fifth, unrelevant, result and is only shown due to the fact that they are using a Facebook social button on their website.The social buttons are flooding the index with keywords such as Facebook, Twitter, Share, Add that as a side-effect of sharing technologies. Because of the high penetration of social buttons this may also disrupt research practices on the web.
The following example shows what happens when you search for the keywords Facebook homosexuality in Google Scholar.
None of the shown results are relevant for my query and are shown because of a Facebook social button on their website. Social buttons are producing an artifact that disrupts search.