Google gets more personal with search results with the launch of Search plus Your World.
Search plus Your World launched by Search Engine giant Google started its rollout last week. Starting with Social Search, Google has been very transparent in its goal to personalise search. The update aims to customise your search experience and make it richer by returning a set of results that are based on both privately shared content from friends and family and traditional content across the web in a single click.
“Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of web pages, images, videos, news and much more. But clearly, that isn’t enough. You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.”
Amit Singhal, Google Fellow
Google+ members, and to a lesser extent others who are signed into Google will be able to search against both the broader web and their own Google+ circles. Search plus Your World is currently being rolled out across different regions firstly for those who are doing searches in English. You need to be signed into your Google account. When it is launched in your region, Google will alert you with a message above your search results (below):
Find out more in the official Google Plus Your World video:
According to Google, there are three new features of Search plus Your World:
- Personal Results – this enables you to find information that has been shared by you and your circle of Google Plus friends, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
- Profiles in Search – this allows you to immediately find people you are closely connected to or people you may be interested in following both in auto complete and results;
- People and Pages – this assists you in finding Google+ pages and people’s profiles which may relate to a specific topic or area of interest, you can follow them with just a few clicks and build your community.
In a nutshell, Google search results are going to be automatically personalised more so than they were already fusing ‘normal’ or ‘traditional’ search results and signals drawn from your Google+ Circles that you or your friends have shared which will be clearly annotated. Google will also show photos shared on Picasa or Google+. If you have marked them private, they will only be visible to you and not everyone else on the web.
As you can see from the screen dump from an article from SearchEngineLand (below), Google has introduced a new category in bold called ‘personal results’. In this example there are 50 personal results and 419,000 other (traditional) results for this particular user and some of these will be included in the SERPS*. Google also gives you the choice to opt out of Search plus by toggling between the two screens (second arrow).
The exciting aspect for businesses is that as well as people seeing search results from their friends, family, business associates and other people in their circles, they will also be served results from Google+ pages of “prominent people” who Google considers to be experts on that search topic that you can easily follow. These are public profiles of people that you don’t necessarily follow or have in any circles.
In the past, Google has come under fire before for breaching privacy but has quickly reacted to complaints. Google has already addressed any concerns by saying they have set a high bar for security and that information found in these blended search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption similar to the security found in your Gmail account or sites which require you to use a credit card.
But your community on Search plus Your World is only as strong as the connections you make and the way you interact with each other on Google+ – this will add to and enrich your search experience. So the more people you follow, the more you network and share content, the more you open up ‘your world’. To find out more about how Search plus Your World can enhance your business, contact us at SEO Works.
*Search Engine Result Pages