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Google Search gets personal

Google Search

The new Google Search – Google is at it again! With their latest change to the Google Search Engines, you can quickly see or filter the search results – separating results that come from your friends (Google+ friends) from the rest of the world.

The idea is that you’d normally trust search results that come from a friend more than a stranger. Of course, you can still see the other search results like normal, so it’s not like you are being forced to get a small subset of results every time you do a search.

Two new buttons are introduced on the top right when you are searching for a particular topic. Pressing the “Show personal results” will display a Personal icon next to a search result if the author is one of your friends in your Google+ Circles (so yes, you need to be signed in to Google+ first to see these icons).

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Click the personal results returned on top and you can filter the search results to results from your friends only. It’s pretty cool and would definitely give you more “trustworthy” results. For example, when I want to search for blogging tips or tutorials, I’d prefer to read a post from someone I already know. This new update will do just that.

You will also see relevant Google+ photos (not just blog posts or Google+ status) from your friends on the search results. This makes it more important for you publish photos on Google+ and also to update your Google+ status every now and then.

Not sure whether Google is giving personal results higher ranking compared to the others but it seems that it is (assuming you turn the Show Personal Results on). For example, when I searched for “dog” while I logged on to Google+, one of my blog posts came second.

Dog logged on

However, if I logged out, that post was no where to be seen (obviously – why would that particular post ranked second compared to real dogs related website? Doesn’t make any sense).

dog logged out

This is an interesting move for people who would like to get more personal search results though I’m not sure how this update will affect us as bloggers. Assuming you’ve got lots of friends, then I assume you will get more traffic since your results might be put on top of the others by Google. Besides, having that icon displayed next to a search result will attract attention (not to mention your avatar with the rel=author tag, etc)

Thankfully, it seems that Google doesn’t just blindly put a friends post (or photos, etc) above more relevant search results. Only time will tell whether this will change in the future and as always, there will be no explanation about the ranking system algorithm.

Anyway, here isthe official video from Google on the Google Search update:

So what do you think?

Source: Google’s official blog post

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