Google profiles: Do you have one? Should you?

By Barbara Bix

Last week, two colleagues called my attention to Google Profiles–which now links to all your online activity.  The first showed me his new and improved profile.  The second stumbled upon it as he was researching a company we were discussing–and his search also displayed comments from one of his colleagues about the company.

The hub for all your professional and personal information

Google Profiles now encourages you to enter information about yourself: your employment, your education, your interests, your relationship, places you’ve lived, your gender, and your contact information.  It also allows you to link to other websites of interest including your social media profiles and publications.

One stop shopping

Through this peephole, others have the potential to access all your activity across the web.  As mentioned above, Google is already using profile information, in search results, to let your connections know what you’ve said about a particular topic.  A year ago, Wired magazine’s poster Ryan Singel warned that Google profiles threaten privacy and make it easier for others to target you for crime or advertising.

Applications? Implications?

Is this Google’s attempt to improve search results?  To ward off competitive inroads from Facebook?  Or, something else?

I’m curious about its implications.  This morning, I searched on Google profiles and found relatively little commentary.  Are you creating a Google profile?  Why or why not?

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