Google and G Suite Unified Search: More Fragmentation, Not Less

February 16, 2017

I read “Google Brings Unified Search To G Suite With Cloud Search.” Now let’s think about the word “unified.” My understanding is that the definition is:

To make into or become a unit; consolidate.

The write up explains

With Cloud Search, G Suite users will now have a tool in their pocket that allows them to more easily pinpoint the information that they need for any task whether that information be a specific document or a collection of photos. Cloud Search blends the power of Google Search for the web with machine intelligence technology, and with it users can simply search for the files and data they need but the app will also make recommendations to users as time goes on. The app does this through the use of what Google is calling “assist cards” which have the ability to suggest a specific file or document to a user that may be useful for a certain task.


Fragmentation? What fragmentation?

The idea of providing a basic search and retrieval function for cloud documents on the Google system is obvious to me. What troubles me is that “unified’ is not the search of my dreams.

If I want to find a document in Gmail, I use the search box on the Gmail page. If I want access to Google Patents, Google Books, or any one of a dozen other Google services like News, I have to run separate queries. When I run a query on and want to see an image, I have to reenter my search terms when I switch to the Google Image search box.

Hey, this is not unified, gentle reader. This is crazy fragmentation. I heard a Google big wheel say, “Fragmentation. We don’t have fragmentation.”

Yeah, right, Mr. Google Wizard. Finding information across Google’s silos is a tedious, frustrating task. With each “unified” service the research becomes increasingly annoying. But, hey, Google is wonderful. Federated search? What’s that?

Stephen E Arnold, February 16, 2017


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