by Claudia Bruemmer
Last week, Google introduced some new features in search results that make search more social and tie in with its Google+ social network. This latest change is called Search Plus Your World. The new features will display personal results in the SERPs, mostly from the Google+ network. Search Plus Your World is available to users who are signed in to Google and searching on https://www.google.com in English. The following features will now be integrated into your search results: People, Pages, and Profiles.
Google says it wants to enable its search engine to not only understand content, but also people and relationships, making it more social. Below is a brief description of the three new features.
1. Personal Results: Lets you find information that’s only relevant to you, such as Google+ photos and posts. You will see your own and those shared specifically with you.
2. Profiles in Search: Available in autocomplete and results, this feature enables you to immediately find people you’re interested in.
3. People and Pages: This helps you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic, enabling you to follow them with just a few clicks.
These results will contain data from the Google+ network rather than Facebook or Twitter. Google says the reason for this is due to their terms of service with social networks like Facebook and Twitter that do not allow them to crawl those networks deeply. However, Google is open to crawling other networks in the future. Below are some examples of what you can do with the new features.
Personal Results: Say you’re in the market for a big ticket item and want to know what experience others had with various brands. Of course, you can search the web; but who can you trust? That’s why most people prefer to learn what their friends think. Here’s what you can find with Search Plus Your World.
• Google+ posts. You can find relevant Google+ posts from friends talking about the car they just bought, or a home entertainment console. You’ll likely find links shared by your friend talking about their buying experience with various brands.
• Photos. You might find great photos of your friends’ car or some other product right in your search results page. You can also find your own private photos from Google+ and Picasa, based on captions, comments and album titles.
Google+ Profiles in Search: Google states in its blog: “Every day, there are hundreds of millions of searches for people. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the person you’re looking for. Once you do find him or her, there’s no quick way for you to actually interact. Starting today, you’ll have meaningful ways to connect with people instantly, right from the search results.”
When you type the first few letters of a person’s name, Google autocompletes it and displays their own search results page, which includes their Google+ profile page and “other relevant web results.” Once you’ve found the person you’re looking for, you can see every single web result for them, excluding others with the same name.
People & Pages: If you search for a topic like [music] or [soccer], you might see prominent people who frequently discuss this topic on Google+ appearing on the right-hand side of the results page. You can connect with them on Google+, strike up meaningful conversations and discover entire communities in ways that simply weren’t possible before.
Control: You can control your results on Google Plus Your World with a prominent new toggle in the upper right of the SERPs where you can see what your search results look like with or without personal content. By clicking the toggle, users can view search plus your world results or non-personalized results.
Security: Last, but not least, Google says it sets a high bar for Search Plus Your World when it comes to security and privacy by providing SSL encryption. Therefore, when you’re signed in to Google, your search results, including your private content, are protected by the same high standards of encryption as your Gmail messages.