Google has announced the integration of of its social networking platform, Google+, into its core product — the search engine. The internet giant announced that it will be releasing three new features, namely personal results, profiles in search as well as people and pages.
“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, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features,” writes Google fellow, Amit Singhal.
The “big step” Google speaks of is simply that Google search results will be automatically personalised for each user. Using individuals’ Google+ Circles, Google can highlight what you and your friends are sharing, which will appear alongside normal search results.
This feature provides users with relevant personalised content, to help users make search decisions based on friends’ experiences. These results pull through Google+ posts from friends as well as images from Picasa.
“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,” says Singhal.
Profiles in Search
This feature provides the user with profile autocomplete predictions for various prominent people using Google+. You can also use it to find your friends by simply typing the first few letters of your friend’s name into the search bar. “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.”
People and Pages
Google is also introducing an element of community into search results by connecting topics to opinion leaders who discuss them frequently on Google+. These “prominent profiles” will appear on the right-hand side of the search, and users can add them to their circles.
The search giant reassured users that it takes security and privacy seriously, and it wants to be transparent.
“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,” says Singhal.