Google+ now Google’s Search Results – Search Plus Your World!

Jan 11, 2012 | 606 views | by Navneet Kaushal

Google yesterday added a new dimension to its existing search engine by introducing, Search plus Your World. This feature will integrate personal results, mainly from Google+, into SERPs. This essentially means that information like People, Pages and Profiles will now be seen on the result pages.

Search, plus Your World

1/10/2012 06:29:00 AM

Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience. Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today, we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search.

Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of webpages, images, videos, news and much more. But clearly, that isn’t enough. You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.

We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, …

 

Introducing Google Social Search: I finally found my friend’s New York blog!

10/26/2009 12:30:00 PM

Your friends and contacts are a key part of your life online. Most people on the web today make social connections and publish web content in many different ways, including blogs, status updates and tweets. This translates to a public social web of content that has special relevance to each person. Unfortunately, that information isn’t always very easy to find in one simple place. That’s why today we’re rolling out a new experiment on Google Labs called Google Social Search that helps you find more relevant public content from your broader social circle. It should be available for everyone to try by the end of the day, so be sure to check back.

A lot of people write about New York, so if I do a search for [new york] on Google, my best friend’s New York blog probably isn’t going to show up on the first page of my results. Probably what I’ll find are some well-known and official sites. We’ve taken steps to improve the relevance of our search results with personalization, but today’s launch takes that one step further. With Social Search, Google finds relevant public content from your friends and contacts and highlights it for you at the bottom of your search results. When I do a simple query for [new york], Google Social Search includes my friend’s blog on the results page under the heading “Results from people in your social circle for New York.” I can also filter my results to see only content from my social circle by clicking “Show options” on the results page and clicking “Social.” Check out this video for a demo:zzz

All the information that appears as part of Google Social Search is published publicly on the web — you can find it without Social Search if you really want to. What we’ve done is surface that content together in one single place to make your results more relevant. The way we do it is by building a social circle of your friends and contacts using the connections linked from your public Google profile, such as the people you’re following on Twitter or FriendFeed. The results are specific to you, so you need to be signed in to your Google Account to use Social Search. If you use Gmail, we’ll also include your chat buddies and contacts in your friends, family, and coworkers groups. And if you use Google Reader, we’ll include some websites from your subscriptions as part of your social search results.

To learn more about how Social Search works behind the scenes, including the choices and control you have over the content you see and share, read our help center article or watch this video:

This feature is an experiment, but we’ve been using it at Google and the results have been exciting. We’d love to hear your feedback. Oh, and don’t forget to create a public Google profileto expand your social circle and more easily find the information you’re looking for (including that New York blog).

Posted by Maureen Heymans, Technical Lead and Murali Viswanathan, Product Manager

… and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:

  1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
  2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
  3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.

Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started.

Personal Results
Say you’re looking for a vacation destination. You can of course search the web, but what if you want to learn from the experiences your friends have had on their vacations? Just as in real life, your friends’ experiences are often so much more meaningful to you than impersonal content on the web. With your world in search, you can find:

  • Google+ posts. You can find relevant Google+ posts from friends talking about an amazing trip they just took, whether they’ve shared privately with you or publicly. You’ll find links shared by your friends, such as activities, restaurants and other things they enjoyed on their trip.
  • Photos. You can find beautiful vacation photos from your friends right in your search results page. You can also find your own private photos from Google+ and Picasa, based on captions, comments and album title.

Personal Results: a family story 
As a child, my favorite fruit was Chikoo, which is exceptionally sweet and tasty. A few years back when getting a family dog, we decided to name our sweet little puppy after my favorite fruit. Over the years we have privately shared many pictures of Chikoo (our dog) with our family. To me, the query [chikoo] means two very sweet and different things, and today’s improvements give me the magical experience of finding both the Chikoos I love, right in the results page.

This is search that truly knows me, and gives me a result page that only I can see. And while I get a nice mix of personal results with results from the web, I can also click the link at the top of the results page (red arrow) for the option to search only within my world.

Profiles in Search 
Every day, there are hundreds of millions of searches for people. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the person you’re looking for. Once you do find him or her, there’s no quick way for you to actually interact. Starting today, you’ll have meaningful ways to connect with people instantly, right from the search results.

Now, typing just the first few letters of your friend’s name brings up a personalized profile prediction in autocomplete. Selecting a predicted profile takes you to a results page for your friend, which includes information from their Google+ profile and relevant web results that may be related to them. And you can have this personal experience instantaneously, thanks to Google Instant. So when I search for [ben smith], I now find my dear friend Ben every time, instead of the hundreds of other Ben Smiths out there (no offense to all of them!).

In addition, you’ll find profile autocomplete predictions for various prominent people from Google+, such as high-quality authors from our authorship pilot program.

Once you select that profile, if you’re a signed-in Google+ user, you’ll also see a button to add them to your circles right on your search results page.

People and Pages 
As I mentioned earlier, behind most queries are communities. Starting today, if you search for a topic like [music] or [baseball], you might see prominent people who frequently discuss this topic on Google+ appearing on the right-hand side of the results page. You can connect with them on Google+, strike up meaningful conversations and discover entire communities in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

Unprecedented security, transparency and control 
When it comes to security and privacy, we set a high bar for Search plus Your World. Since some of the information you’ll now find in search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption on Google+, we have decided that the results page should also have the same level of security and privacy protection. That’s part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. This means when you’re signed in to Google, your search results—including your private content—are protected by the same high standards of encryption as your messages in Gmail.

We also want to be transparent about how our features work and give you control over how to use them. With today’s changes, we provide interface elements and control settings like those you’ll find in Google+. For example, personal results are clearly marked as Public, Limited or Only you. Additionally, people in your results are clearly marked with the Google+ circle they are in, or as suggested connections.

We’re also introducing a prominent new toggle on the upper right of the results page where you can see what your search results look like without personal content. With a single click, you can see an unpersonalized view of search results.

That means no results from your friends, no private information and no personalization of results based on your Web History. This toggle button works for an individual search session, but you can also make this the default in your Search Settings. We provide separate control in Search Settings over other contextual signals we use, including location and language.

That’s unprecedented transparency and control over personal search results.

A beautiful journey begins 
Search plus Your World will become available over the next few days to people who are signed in and searching on https://www.google.com in English.

While there may be 7 billion people and 197 million square miles on Earth, a septillion stars and a trillion webpages, we spend our short, precious lives living in a particular town, with particular friends and family, orbiting a single star and relying on a tiny slice of the world’s information. Our dream is to have technology enable everyone to experience the richness of all their information and people around them.

We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about.

Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow

Source Google Blog

Lets have a closer look and summarize the features :

Personal Results from Google+ Available in SERPs:

Google Introduces Search Plus Your World

Users now have a choice about the kind of search they are interested in. Google has a personalization toggle icon at the top right hand side of the search page, the user now has a choice of including the relevant posts and pictures of his friends on Google+ or an option of drilling down unnecessary information by viewing normal result page.

Making the most of their promoting edge over Facebook and other social networking sites, search result page interestingly shows only results from Google+, leaving out Facebook and others in the cold. Google officials have cited that, term of service set by Facebook and other sites prevents them from crawling through deeper and retrieve information.

Google+ Profiles In Search:

Google tries to reason out the main idea, behind the concept of incorporating Google+ profiles in search, through a published post on their official blog. The statement reads :

Every day, there are hundreds of millions of searches for people. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the person you’re looking for. Once you do find him or her, there’s no quick way for you to actually interact. Starting today, you’ll have meaningful ways to connect with people instantly, right from the search results.

As the user types in the first few alphabets of a person’s name, Google now autocompletes and bring up its own results in SERPs, where Google+ profile and other web results are highlighted. Once the desired person is found, users can view all the relevant web information that Google attributes to that person, bypassing all others sharing the same name. This will also allow the signed in Google+ users to add prominent Google+ profiles to their Circle directly from SERPs.

People and Pages:

When searched for a particular topic like cricket or laptops, Google will now show prominent people who frequently discuss it on Google+. This page will appear at the right hand side of the result page, encouraging users to strike meaningful conversations through Google+ and discover communities in an easy and never done before way.

New Security Level for SERPs:

Search plus Your World result pages will share the same protection level as that of Gmail via SSL encryption. This could come in as a relief for many who are worried about their Google+ profile and posts, appearing in search results, will leave them vulnerable. However this feature will not work if the user is not signed in, once you’ve logged onto Google and a search is made then all your search results including your own personal contents are safe.

Search plus Your World will be rolled out in next few days for logged in users searching English keywords at https://www.google.com. Over the next weeks it will be gradually rolled out into other countries and languages.

Navneet Kaushal Source PageTrafficBuzz -  About the author: 

Navneet Kaushal, CEO PageTraffic is a trusted authority in the search engine marketing industry. He is a featured author at Web Pro News, Search Newz, Website Notes, DevWebPro, SEO Article and Web Help Now among many others.

Google stepped into trouble when it announced yesterday it’s personalizing search results with Google+ information.

The move incurred Twitter’s wrath and raised the prospect of yet another grueling round of antitrust scrutiny.

But Google had no choice.

It has choices about how exactly to make what it callsSearch plus Your World work. Google can change how it presents search results derived from social services. It can change what services it chooses to listen to. It can offer different actions that people can take when seeing social information. It can give people different controls over how exactly their own social content is indexed for later inclusion in search.

But Google can’t simply ignore social information. Because–perhaps you may have noticed–social connections are a force that’s rebuilding the Internet.

A social Web
In the words of Paul Adams, author of the new book “Grouped” and a former Googler now working at Facebook:

We are moving away from a Web that connects documents together to a Web that connects people together…We are now seeing the things we have done socially for thousands of years move online. The emergence of the social Web is simply the our online world catching up with our offline world…The social Web will grow, become mainstream, and eventually simply be known as the Web.

I agree. (And as an aside, I also found Adams’ views on what became Google+ circles very persuasive.)

For Google to ignore this reality would be catastrophic.

The first thing that would happen is that genuinely useful search results would be missing, degrading the quality of Google’s prime business. Second, because people will seek out socially influenced information, its absence from Google would lead people to search for it elsewhere.

The most overt example of the social Web is of course social-networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. There, humans tell other humans what they think is important, and humans select which other humans to listen to. It’s where we spend ever-increasing portions of our time.

Of course, we perform countless non-social activities on the Web, too–streaming a movie, looking up a cookie recipe, learning algebra, buying a bicycle, reserving a hotel room. But even there, social decisions will influence many of those activities.

I think Google has a strong case that search results can improve when they include information published by my social contacts. What Barcelona hotel did my co-worker stay in at last year’s Mobile World Congress? Did my sister like that movie? Did my son’s teacher recommend that online tutorial?

Today, that sort of social information is often presented online clumsily at best, but in a perfect Internet, it would arrive just as unobtrusively as it does real-world conversations with your friends, family, co-workers, and schoolmates.

Here’s where Google is key. People go to Facebook and Twitter to speak their own mind and to listen to whatever is on the minds of the people they follow. But they go to Google search for specific answers. Sure, people will use social networks to ask for buying advice, but that tends to be more a site-facilitated manual process rather than some automated algorithmic magic. Facebook and Twitter seem more interested in inserting ads in our update streams, flagging items they think we might want to see, and telling our contacts what music we’re listening to than in becoming all-knowing oracles.

Obtaining social information
One big issue for Google is which social signals and social information Search plus Your World uses. Not coincidentally, Facebook and Twitter results are missing.

No doubt that’s because Facebook and Twitter want to be the center of their users’ existence, not merely a secondary destination that happens to come up when Google search is the primary one. Who can blame them?

Google’s Search plus Your World would benefit from Facebook and Twitter being sources of information, but Google doesn’t believe the companies grant permission. “Facebook and Twitter and other services, basically, their terms of service don’t allow us to crawl them deeply and store things. Google+ is the only [network] that provides such a persistent service,” said Google fellow and search executive Amit Singhal in an interview with longtime search watcher Danny Sullivan. And Facebook’s requirements for automated data collection state, “You will not engage in Automated Data Collection without Facebook’s express written permission.”

Matt Cutts, who leads Google’s team to ward off Web spam and who blogs about search quality, took pains today to point out that socially-augmented Google search results uses more sources than just Google+. “Search plus Your World builds on the social search that we launched in 2009, and can surface public content from sites across from the Web, such as Quora, [Facebook's] FriendFeed, LiveJournal, Twitter, and WordPress,” Cutts said.

Wait, Twitter? Google had included Twitter data in its real-time search results launched in 2009, but the service disappeared a year and a half later after Google and Twitter didn’t renew its deal. But even if Google doesn’t index Twitter links directly, it can find them when other pages on the Web link to them.

Google+ in search results
One way that Google socially augments search results is by including information from the searcher’s Google+ contacts. That’s potentially useful, if done well. Competitively, it doesn’t mean much since a person who doesn’t use Google+ won’t see anything, though it could increase Google+ engagement for lightweight users.

A thornier issue is surfacing Google+ information to people who aren’t Google+ users. For example, search results will spotlight Google+ profiles for prominent people. Those Google+ profiles could appear with a search for the person or for subject matter that person discusses.

It’s thornier because it comes closer to “tying” or “bundling,” in which a company with monopoly power in one market uses that power to extend to another to the detriment of competition. It’s not a cut-and-dried matter, though. It’s common for dominant tech companies add self-serving new features: the virtual currency of Facebook credits, the social sharing of iTunes Ping. It’s exceptional when a company gets called on the carpet, as Microsoft did when including Internet Explorer in Windows. If Google does get a new round of antitrust scrutiny, it’ll be illuminating to see how hard Google fought to keep Twitter data. It seems likely that it tried harder than Microsoft did to make a place for Netscape on Windows.

The practice of spotlighting Google+ results in Google search got Twitter’s knickers in a twistyesterday, with its top lawyer tweeting:

Twitter later added, “News breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and tweets are often the most relevant results. We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone.”

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt insisted yesterday that Google isn’t favoring its Google+ content in an interview with Sullivan. Maybe Google does, and maybe it doesn’t, but if Twitter truly wanted its data to appear in Google search results, I’m sure Google would jump at the chance.

Here again, though, it’s not simple. Showing private Google+ information in Google search results is possible because Google owns Google+. Would Facebook be willing to reveal to as powerful a player as Google not only what people are saying but the network of people to whom they’re saying it? Facebook gets a lot of grief for privacy incursions, but selling Google the keys to the kingdom would raise hackles.

Valuing social data
Overall, what seems to be going on here is jockeying that could help set the value of social data.

Google could probably persuade Facebook and Twitter to play along–but as exhibited by the demise of the real-time search deal, it seems likely the price isn’t right.

By promoting Google+ in search, Google is sending Facebook and Twitter a strong signal that it has other options than paying through the nose for prime social information.

And by setting their own terms, Facebook and Twitter are protecting their own status as a starting point on the Net. Most companies work as hard as they can to get into Google’s search results, lapping up the resulting traffic, but Twitter and Facebook have healthy usage and can’t be eager to become vassal states.

Who’ll blink first? It depends on how fast the rivals adapt and how fast people follow them. Quick Google+ growth, leveraged by Google search, will give Google an advantage. Facebook and Twitter expanding from update-sharing sites to search sites will mean they have more bargaining power.

The question, therefore, is not whether Google will include social data in search results. It’s whose data it will include–and on whose terms.

Source: News Cnet

 

 

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