Google+, Day 28: My Five Biggest Google+ Complaints

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4. Google Is Everywhere. There are many potential advantages to Google being able to integrate the social network into the rest of the Googleverse--especially if you tend to use the vast selection of Google services.

Photos are automatically cross-posted with Picasa, and you can start a Google+ Hangout to watch a YouTube video as a virtual group. Google can make it simple to share files from Google Docs with your Google+ network, and seamlessly weave social networking into all of Google.

There is a lot to like about Google+, but there are also some things I don't appreciate about the social network.
Benefits aside, though, I prefer my social network to be a separate entity. I can change my email address associated with my Facebook or Twitter account, but Google+ is forever tied to the Gmail address it is associated with, and the rest of the Google products and services related to that Gmail address.

If I violate the Facebook terms of service, Facebook might suspend my account--but that will only affect Facebook. When Google shuts you down for violating Google+ guidelines--like using a name that Google deems not "real" enough--it affects your access to Google+, Buzz, Reader and parts of Picasa (including the ability to comment on photos or share photos. If you violate the broader Google terms of service, you may find your entire Google Account shut down.

5. The Damn '+'. I am sure there is some brilliant method to the madness behind naming the service Google+ that I just don't get. From a Web search and SEO perspective, the use of a Boolean operator, and common Web formatting shortcut in the name of the social network is a huge pain in the ass.

When I search for Google+ using the main Google or Bing search engines, I get Google+ results. Apparently, they have already tweaked the search engine algorithms to accommodate. But, if I search for Google+ on a given website, what I get are all results with the word "Google" because the search doesn't differentiate between "Google" and "Google+". It looks at it as "Google and" with nothing following it, so it returns all results with "Google".

In the PCWorld post comments--and elsewhere on the Web--the "+" sign is used as a shortcut for changing text to italics. So, Typing something like "Google+ is a capable social network, and the Google+ Circles set it apart" actually comes out like this: "Google is a capable social network, and the Google Circles set it apart."

Ultimately, the jury is still out. The things that don't work or seem to be missing with Google+ may yet be tweaked or added because the social network is still in a pre-release "Field Trial". The things that make Google+ seem more active or engaging may be artificial factors that will disappear when it is open to the public and the novelty wears off.

But, with the exception of "Relevance", the things on my five biggest Google+ complaints list seem to be foundational aspects of Google+ that are not likely to change.

Read the last "30 Days" series: 30 Days With the iPad

Day 27: Comparing Google+ with Facebook

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