Google Changes Search By Adding 'Your World'

Google's great at finding pretty much anything on the web — no matter how obscure — but has generally lacked social content thanks to its ongoing standoff with Facebook. But, according to the search giant today, the "most radical transformation ever" has just occurred to its search engine. But maybe not in the good way.

Google dubbed this metamorphosis, "Search, Plus Your World". It integrates Google+ content directly into search results in three ways. First, it now provides "Personal Results" which include media — photos, blog posts, etc — that have been privately shared with you as well as your own stuff. Any images you've set to share using Picasa will also be displayed. Second, Google Search will now auto-complete queries to people in your circles and will display people who might also be interested in what you're searching for in the search results. Finally, it simplifies the process of finding other Google+ profiles for people or specific interest groups based on your query. So if you search for, say, NASA, it will display Google+ profile pages for NASA and space-related Google+ interest groups in addition to the normal results.

On one hand this is a good thing, especially if you're drinking the Mountain View Kool-Aid (and who isn't, right?). You'll have access to masses more Google+ content in a simplified, easy-to-consume format. Everything runs from a single search box.

On the other hand, as Search Engine Land points out, this could be a user privacy minefield with "privately shared" information being made readily available to both people in your circles and hundreds of millions of Googlers. You're going to need to make sure those pictures (you know, those pictures) are properly tagged and access-restricted before Grandma googles you again.

In addition, wrapping its Social Media service so tightly to its bread-and-butter Search service feels a lot like Microsoft's efforts to bundle IE with Windows. And we all know how well that turned out for Microsoft (it was charged with violating Federal Antitrust laws). It certainly doesn't look good, especially since it's an opt-out system. But hey, at least it's better than playing nice with Facebook right?

Now, if you don't want to share your personal life or get results from other people's personal lives, opt-out is easy. In the upper right corner of any results page, you'll see two buttons — one with a silhouette and one with a globe. Click the Globe to turn of sharing, click the Silhouette to turn it back on. [Searchblog, CNN, ParisLemon, Google Blog]


Comments

    Any idea when this will actually be implemented? I certainly can't see anything different.

      To answer my own question, this is from Google on Google+

      "It's rolling out today and should be available in the US for all signed in Google users over the next few day"

    NOOOOOO!!!!!!

    I think google are digging their own grave with all this social crap they are doing. Everyone likes google for it's simplicity, I don't think anyone wants social crap in their search results, I certainly don't. Is anyone actually using google plus?

    totally shit idea. I am moving to Bing

    Speaking of google searches, I have discovered that on some combinations of versions of MacOSX and Chrome, Google searches on certain search terms will hang - and there's a clear pattern. The search terms that hang are all related to the middle-east. For example I can search on "North Bank", "South Bank", and "East Bank" no problem, but a search on "West Bank" will consistently hang. I can search on "chemise" no problem, but "dishdasha" will hang. This has been confirmed by several users in different countries. I'm guessing it's a bug in a filter somewhere - but who gets alerted every time you search? Chrome is probably not the only browser to have such dodgy filters, and google probably not the only search engine with them - but it's disappointing to see Big Brother so obviously breathing down our necks.

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