Call them Google versions of business cards, Geocities 2.0 or call them what you will, I consider Google Profiles to be the building block to the foundation of Google’s social map in the interactive Internet world, weaving basic user information which the user chooses to share within Google results; whether that info be LinkedIn style business information or family & friend style photo sharing.
Google Profiles, whatever they will morph into, are now being indexed by search engines, as Google has lifted the noindex style command from their robots.txt files, and instituted a new form of sitemaps.xml for the profiles which deem them crawlable by the engines.
Garett Rogers writes :
Just about a half hour ago, Google added a new line into their robots.txt file which makes all those profiles (or at least 50,000 of them) crawlable by search engines. The new entry tells search engines to use “http://www.gstatic.com/s2/sitemaps/profiles-sitemap.xml” as a sitemap. The sitemap looks something like this:
Garet believes Google will launch a people Onebox at one point, like they have for local and books. I believe such a Onebox would have a slew of new ways to connect and share information with these people, or also do research on them, their companies and backgrounds; especially with the addition of FriendFeed style functionality.