Google Search… now with ads!

This morning I noticed ads showing up in my Google search results, the first time I’ve seen any in a long time.

I say that it has been a while since I’ve seen ads like this because I’ve long used the Adblock Plus browser extension to remove ads from web sites that I visit. Now either this new ad format hasn’t been added to the Adblock filters or Google has found a way around them. Regardless, all that matters to me is that the top search results being returned by Google are now useless to me.

I was looking for information on how to make networking diagrams using the latest version of Visio, so am I interested in other network mapping tools? No, I’m not. Am I interested, for that matter, in a bunch of related images of networking diagrams? Nope. I’m interested in getting to the info Microsoft has published on the network diagramming features in Visio.

I’ve gotten used to the fact that the Google’s ability to source relevant information has been gradually declining. Blocking the ads on their site has been my way to help Google out, to try to salvage some use out of their search tool. Forcing me to view their crappy ads does little to further endear me to their search product, and everything to make me consider developing new search habits.

Update – Nov 19, 2013: It appears that these ads qualify as acceptable advertizing that adblock agreed to let through their filters. Fortunately, you can turn this off in the add-in options (look in the add-in settings for Adblock Plus and make sure that Filter preferences > Allow some non-intrusive advertizing option is turned off).


A reflection on my use of social networks

Yesterday I shared the news that I had been recommended for reappointment for another 3-year term (yay!) on all three of the social networks that I actively participate in: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

I don’t use or think of all three networks the same way:

  • Facebook is my personal network: people I know or have at least met and chatted with a time or two. While I sometime share work-related information on Facebook, most of my activity there is more in the personal arena.
  • Twitter is more of a professional space for microblogging content related to my work as a librarian as well as my interests in technology, organizations, education, etc, etc.
  • I have to admit that Google+ is more of a placeholder. I tend to use it to share blog posts that I write (like this one) and other major events/items. But I spend far less time interacting with people in that space than in the other two.

I should also say that I probably spend the most time on Facebook, a bit less on Twitter, and far less on Google+.

Given this, the results of my posting my reappointment news are not surprising:

  • Google+: 177 people have me in circles –> 1 comment
  • Twitter: 536 followers –> 1 comment
  • Facebook: 550 friends –> 64 likes, 8 comments

Not surprising, but still something for me to think about. At the very least, I think this not only reflects but reinforces how I have chosen to use these various networks. The people I connect with on Facebook are of course more likely to react to personal news like this. I’ve also invested more in terms of interacting with people on Facebook, so it shouldn’t be surprising that my social connections in that space are stronger. It isn’t that I couldn’t have those same social connections in Twitter or Google+. I just haven’t chosen to use those spaces in that way. And I’m ok with that.