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Google’s New Social Results – Just a Google+ Booster, or the Future of Search?

Google personal search

Google began rolling out its social search on Tuesday, called “Search, plus Your World.” Now, Google results will pull in content and profiles from Google+.

“We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships,” wrote Google fellow Amit Singhal.

For example, a search for “vacation” will display posts from you and your friends about your recent trips, including photos. On the right hand side, you’ll also see high-profile Google+ users who post often about that topic. Or, you can search specific names to find the profiles of your friends and other famous people on Google+, whom you can add to your circles directly from the results page.

These features extend Google’s experiment with social search, but make results more prominent and highlight Google+ pages.

I’m not too happy with this, but I won’t complain until I’ve tried it. When I’m doing research for an essay or looking up a medical condition, I don’t really care what my layman friends think about the topic. Luckily, you can change your search settings to make “unpersonalized” search the default, although a little icon in the top right corner lets you turn it on when appropriate. You can also sign out of your Google account.

Despite these reservations, the ability to effectively search social content – definitely lacking on Facebook – is a plus (pun intended). In fact, it adds to the value and allure of Google+.

Personal search isn’t enabled for me yet; does it work for you? What do you think?

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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8 Responses to “Google’s New Social Results – Just a Google+ Booster, or the Future of Search?”

  1. @darkmagess

    I've used it a little and don't much see the point. The majority of things I search on are not things I care to have my friends' opinions about. Or rather, it's not that I don't like my friends' comments, it's that they are generally speaking not fonts of specialized knowledge. Most people aren't. And what they post on their social networks aren't really informative How-Tos or travel information on the place I want to visit.

    I guess it would be nice to be able to search through social networks for things you already know are there. (What was that funny post again? Let me google it…) But I don't see how this could make Google better.

    I think Google wants me to think that I should go to them whenever I want to find anything ever. Even if it's my own photos. But it doesn't make sense to me to search the web for my own things. I should search the place where my things are to find my things. Yeah?

    Reply
  2. Guest

    I had the Personalized Search show up. And I have never joined Google+ The Google+ member they named as my friend is a woman with whom I've exchanged buiness correspondence through my Gmail account.

    I found this rather creepy. Maybe Google should change its name to Big Brother; that would be a better description of what they are doing these days.

    Reply
  3. Rita Dawson

    I used it once and but I felt uncomfortable. May be that it will be interesting if we use it more. The search results are really good comparatively.

    Reply
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    Reply
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    Reply

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