One reason I haven’t been an early adopter of Google Plus is that the searchability seems to be so limited. Oddly, Search Giant Google seems to have overlooked a simple thing like titles for articles. I discovered this when I searched for a Google Plus article in Google Web Search. Here’s the G+ article, by Tim O’Reilly …
I picked out a phrase from the article to search – “I think he’s right that it’s too complex” and searched for it in Google Web Search – Google does find the O’Reilly article and several other articles that cite it (below), but the entries are just the names of the people who have entered them, with no title words at all — How strange!
Google Plus articles having no titles is especially surprising because the importance of a strong title has long been the first principle of building web pages, at least since the early days of Google. This is well-stated in an article on an SEO blog — Understanding the Magic of Metadata:
The title is without a doubt the most important piece of metadata there is. One could further argue that it is the most important part of your web page, period.
Like a Library Full of Books with No Titles
As a librarian, I sometimes see parallels between the early evolution of the Internet and the early days of books. One of the important milestones for books was the establishment of the Title Page as the place where the title of a book was clearly stated (imagine books without titles). So it’s been interesting to see, over the last 10-15 years of the Internet, that the Web page title has also come to be an indispensable handle for Web pages. Is Google Plus trying to take us back to a world of Web pages without titles?
Eric Rumsey is at: eric-rumsey AttSign uiowa dott edu and on Twitter @ericrumsey