Google gets more personal with 'Search plus Your World'

Google gets more personal with 'Search plus Your World'

Summary: Google has added more personalisation to its search results calling it 'Search plus Your World'. The new search will show personalised information and bring social relevance to searches.

TOPICS: Google, Browser

Google has added more personalised information to its search engine results. The Google blog announced the additions to search calling it 'Search plus Your World'.

Now, search results will show extra information. Logging in with your Google account and searching will bring more social relevance to your results. Information shared by your Google+ circles will also appear under the search result. This feature is currently available to searches carried out in English only.

You will see items such as Google+ links, posts and photos, posted both by you and by people in your Circles.

Profiles of people on Google+ will appear in search results and information about their shares will appear in Google search results.

Google+ user profiles and images will also appear in search results. Selecting the profile allows you to add the user to your Google+ circles using a button on the page. These profile images will make it easier to select the correct 'Dave Smith' or 'Samir Patel' from the list of results.

The autocomplete box also includes Google+ information amongst the web page results.

Planned additions

Speculation that this was going to happen started when Google removed the Boolean + operator from advanced search queries in October. Google then started to incorporate Google+ brand pages into search results. Typing the '+' operator before the brand name will bring up the brand page in search results.

It seems like Google will integrate Google+ activities more closely into search results. Searching typical queries will bring up people talking about the topic on Google+, allowing you to add them to your circles.

This is a small addition to the existing search results at the moment, but I expect that it won't be long before Google starts to add results from its other services such as Google Docs, Gmail and Contacts.

Bing doesn't yet have any social networking equivalent to Google+. It does however; incorporate Facebook information into search results using Bing's Facebook Friend effect.

But with these enhancements, I suspect that Bing might be playing catch up to Google for some time yet...

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Topics: Google, Browser

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  • RE: Google gets more personal with 'Search plus Your World'

    If I am searching the Internet, I don't want the cluttered noise of social network content strewn among the results. This is just re-dic-yoooo-lus.
  • Personalization? Or bias?

    Aside from privacy concerns, another concern is whether the ability to obtain objectively-ranked search results will go by the wayside. I.e., a search that returns the objectively most relevant answer at the top, vs. one that corresponds most highly to data gathered about me. Maybe I'm trying to "branch out"?! I worry that many may not even be able to recognize this differentiation, much less its criticality.
  • RE: Google gets more personal with 'Search plus Your World'

    And more lucrative!

    There's a bargain deep at the core of all free Internet services, in which users give up Personal Information for the service providers to capitalise. In principle, this bargain would be fine, if it were transparent and fair. Yet in most cases, the big "informopolies" -- Google, Facebook and Apple -- are surreptitious, even devious, in the way they collect PI and moreover generate brand new network PI from the torrents of data items they have at their disposal. The social media PI bargain is hopelessly unbalanced.

    The classic example is photo tagging. It seems like great fun and it is terrific for organising photo albums. But Facebook uses tag suggestions to calibrate their biometric facial recognition algorithms, and in turn they can mine (without consent) all images in their vast databases to create valuable new insights into what members do, who they do it with, when and where. Facebook???s Privacy Policy is totally silent on what secondary re-use they allow themselves of all this biometric generated data. Then there???s Siri, with which Apple is collecting the contents of text messages and e-mails innocently dictated by iPhone users, again with no self-imposed limitation on what they will do with that Personal Information.

    So let???s look at ???Search plus Your World??? through the lens of PI mining. The more Google knows about each of us, and the more we unwittingly confirm (that is, value add) that knowledge by engaging with improved search and calibrating it, the greater the value to them. Privacy is largely about fair play. It???s high time the informopolies came clean with their commercial agendas, so that users have a proper understanding of what???s going on as they avail themselves of so much cool free stuff.
  • Google gets more personal with 'Search plus Your World'

    It seems like The search engines will include Google+ actions more carefully into serp's. Looking common inquiries will bring up people discussing the subject on Google+, enabling you to add them to your groups.