Glassholes, Google Web Search, and Google Plus

EV Grieve:

So when the other diner came in wearing Google Glass, management asked her to take them off before dining. She refused, and left the restaurant. […] On April 20, the diner wrote a post about what happened, which apparently angered some of her 3,000-plus Google+ followers.

Around this time the spate of reviews arrived on Google. Feast looked into this, and discovered that all of the one stars are from people who commented on the diner’s original Google+ post. The negative reviews include lines such as: “Ignorant bigots and hateful. Perhaps being illegally discriminate too. The food is irrelevant as the service is less than poor.” The reviewer lives in Phoenix. […]

“When the first thing that comes up when you search Feast in Google is a 3.1, it can really hurt a restaurant like us. Then you have 13 people, which is about half the total reviews, who have never been to our restaurant let alone live in NYC, leave you one-star reviews … it’s malicious and technically a violation of Google’s own terms for leaving reviews,” the Feast manager said. “Again I can understand her leaving the one-star based on her experience, but 12 others with no experience on who we are or what we do is unfair.”

It’s a perfect storm of Google-ism. Glass users are weirdos. They also tend to be users of Google Plus. They vent/lash out on Google Plus when an establishment — even respectfully — asks them not to wear Glass. Google web search shows the establishment’s Google Plus profile as its top search result.

What’s troublesome here isn’t Glass. It’s Google’s favoritism for Google Plus. If Google Plus were an independent company, there’s no way Google web search would give it such prominent placement.

Friday, 23 May 2014