The Google Update – Search Plus Your World
In a move to provide its users with more customised and personal search results, Google have launched their new “Search Plus Your World” feature to their enormously popular search engine.
The new features, which are currently only available on google.com in English but are being rolled out globally, takes a far more social stance on the search, offering custom search results which displays content from your Google+ network as well as global results. You can use Google Search Plus Your World by logging into your Google+ account and clicking ‘go to Google.com’ link at the bottom of the search page if you are not in America.
You then see a personalised results page (shown below) and can switch between personal and global results using the toggle switch at the top right of the page. This is a dramatic update that potentially could change the face of Search Engine Optimisation and the way we receive our search results.
Through deeper integration with Google’s social network, Google+, the new search feature will allow you to discover your own information, photos and content as well as content that has been shared and +1′d with you within your network, all within the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). These results aim to give you far more personal results based on:
- posts from your friends on Google+
- private/limited content which has been shared with you on Google+
- full web listings
- full web listings which have been modified through your personal behaviour
- fell web listings which have been modified due to your social network connections
The implications of these changes are that you can receive more meaningful results which match what’s going on in your life, giving you more of an indication of what the members of your online world are sharing, doing and saying.
One extremely handy feature is the ability to find photos taken by you and your friends within the search results. If you look at the search result image below, when searching for the keyword “beach” images taken by people who are relevant to you are displayed.
People and Pages
The changes also contain the inclusion of Google+ profiles within search results, displaying them in the sidebar to the right of the results (shown on your right). This new “People and Pages on Google+” box allows you to quickly and easily add profiles to your circles, expanding your own potential personalised search network in the process. The new feature recommends profiles based on what they are talking about through their post and comments on broad search terms (for example, the image to the right was taken after searching ‘football’), introducing you to people and pages that have similar interests and expertise in the field you are searching.
Profiles in Search
As well as the new sidebar, Google+ profiles are now discoverable within search results. It is now possible to search for one of your friends by entering the first few letters of their name, providing you with results that include Google+ profile information and web results which including content that is connected to them. This will allow you to more accurately find information about a specific person as it will filter out results from people with the same or similar name to the person you are searching.
Too Much Information?
This isn’t the first time Google have used previous search results and online behaviours to personalise their search results. This was initially launched in 2005 being developed and refined ever since, introducing Social Search in October 2009 to help you find “more relevant public content from your broader social circle”.
Search results display private content in the same way it would display public results which may worry some users, however Google is securing your search results with the same SSL encryption that keeps your emails in GMail private.
While the search is definitely getting more social, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are not included in the search results, making having a Google+ account essential to make use of the personal search results. Although these networks don’t currently allow Google’s web crawlers to index the vast majority of their information, Google are open to setting this up in the future, which would have a massive increase in the amount of personal information, content and photos that are discoverable using the service.
The new feature also flips idea of global results on its head by focusing on local results which should be more relevant to you. Luckily, if these features are not to your liking you can always turn off personal results through the toggle button on the top right of the page or even turn it off permanently through your personal search settings.
We are currently seeing a big change in search and making sure that your sites are ranked highly by search engines is still as important as ever, which is why proper SEO Training Courses are needed, so you know that the effort you are putting into boosting your rankings isn’t working against you.