Google Says, “Search is Simply Better with Your World in it”
As the world’s leading search engine, Google’s first priority has always been your experience as a user. Each day, several hundred million queries are performed and Google strives to bring forth the best results from the pubic web. However, Google is about to get to know you on a much more personal level.
Check out this video from Google
On Tuesday, Google announced an update called Search plus Your World, which will forever change the way the search engine functions. “We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships,” says Google in a blog post early Tuesday morning. “Rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience.” Search plus Your World allows you to find your own personal content, people you know, and others whom you may want to connect with (or hide from) in your search results. In order for this to happen, Google’s bots are now going to incorporate data from social networks as well as the public Internet when delivering search results. Google’s new system has three new features: Personal Results, Profiles in Search, and People & Pages.
Personal Results allows you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts. Your search results will consist of both your own content or photos as well as those shared specifically with you. This information in your search results will only be visible to you. Therefore, you will not get the same search results as I do, even though we may search for the same query. For example, say you want to plan a trip and are looking for a good vacation spot. You can still search the web for plenty of travel ideas or you may want to learn from the experiences your friends have had on their vacations. Everyone knows that your friend’s suggestions are going to mean more to you than what any impersonal web site recommends, just as they would in real life. When you perform your search, you’ll be presented with oodles of relevant content. You can check out Google+ posts from your friends talking about an awesome trip they just took while taking a look at their photos in their Picasa album. You can read their comments, captions and share links with each other.
Profiles in Search
Go to Google.com and type in the name of your best friend. You’ll quickly find out that there are thousands of “Ben Smiths” in this world, which can make it hard to find the person you know, let alone get in contact with them. This is Google’s solution. Now when you begin to type in the first few letters of your friend’s name, Google will bring up a personalized profile prediction in autocomplete and in the results pages. If you click on the profile, you’ll find information on their Google+ profile along with search results that may be relevant to them. Now you can add them to your Google+ circles and see what they’ve been up to lately!
People & Pages
Here’s another way to reach out to people you may know or want to follow. If you search for a topic of interest, say baseball for example, you may see prominent people who frequently discuss baseball on Google+ along side your search results. You can then choose to connect with them on Google+ by striking up a conversation- how about those Phillies? It’s a cool way to discover entire communities related to the topics that interest you.
Of course with any new system, there are concerns. Many people are questioning the security of Search plus Your World as well as expressing privacy issues. However, Google has claimed to have taken all necessary precautions. Search via SSL will be turned on by default for Google+ signed in users and for those of you who don’t like this new system, no worries. Google is providing a toggle switch that essentially allows you to “unpersonalize” your search results. This means Google won’t display any results from your friends or your private information as well as no personalization of results from your Web History. If that’s not enough for you, Google is giving you three privacy settings to choose from for displaying your content- Public, Limited, or Only You.
Since the release on Tuesday, there has been some talk about how Google is trying to give lots of exposure to its social network Google+ in order to beat out Facebook and push content from other sites down in rankings. “The change will expose Google+ profiles, as well as posts and photographs uploaded to the network to hundreds of millions of search users whether or not they have Google+ accounts,” says Miguel Helft, a senior writer at Fortune.com. As a result, competitors are already assuming that Google is going to give preferential treatment to content from its own creations such as Google+, YouTube, etc. As for social media marketing agencies, this new system may bring about significant change in the way Google evaluates SEO and social media efforts.
One thing is for sure, Google has gained a better understanding of how to incorporate socially relevant data. As mentioned before, we are Google’s first priority and if something is going to enhance our search experience, you bet they’re going to give it a whirl. Google is currently only offering Search plus Your World to Google+ users who are signed in and are searching on www.google.com in English. As a Google user, it’s up to you whether or not to jump on the bandwagon, but according to Google, “Search is simply better with your world in it.”