Last week, Amit Agarwal at Labnol, reported millions of Google+ users haven’t even bothered to fill in their profiles.He figured this out by searching: “site:plus.google.com “has not filled * profile yet” inurl:about“.
If you do that, you get 24 million results that say “XX hasn’t filled out his profile.” (Click on the image on the right to see what we’re talking about.)
It sounds pretty damaging for Google+, and it fits into the established narrative that Google+ is a dud.
Unfortunately for Agarwal, Google says his data is flawed.
Google+ lets people make their profile be private. If a user decides to keep their profile private, then the language “hasn’t filled out their profile” is what shows up.
A spokesperson tells us, “The beauty of Google+ profiles is that people can choose to share information – such as their employment or education – with select circles, rather than publicly. This is intentional and gives Google+ users greater control over the content people can see about them.”
Google adds, “The current text when people visit a profile that they don’t have access to view reads: XX has not filled out her/his profile yet.”
As a result, Agarwal isn’t finding profiles that haven’t been filled in, he’s finding private profiles.
Google says, “We understand this messaging is confusing, and we are currently in the process of updating this.”