Google’s search results are undergoing their most radical transformation ever, as a new “Search Plus Your World” format begins rolling out today. It finds both content that’s been shared with you privately along with matches from the public web, all mixed into a single set of listings.
The new system will perhaps make life much easier for some people, allowing them to find both privately shared content from friends and family plus material from across the web through a single search, rather than having to search twice using two different systems.
However, Search Plus Your World may cause some privacy worries, as private content may appear as if it is exposed publicly (it is not). It might also cause concern by making private content more visible to friends and family than those sharing may have initially intended.
The new format and features will also likely cause Google to come under renewed fire that it is leveraging its search engine to favor its own content and crowd out competitors.
Sullivan’s Post Continues With a Detailed Breakdown of What’s New/What’s Different
Five Fast Facts About Google’s “Search Plus Your World” Covered in the Article:
- “Search Plus Your World” is OPT-OUT. In other words, the new service is on and working by default. You can go into your search settings to turn off permanently or you can opt-out on a per search basis.
- “Google’s also not making it possible to search for anything that you couldn’t already search for before…Google’s really just making Google+ Search one of its Universal Search sources, in some ways.”
- “Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Flickr. Or any social network or place where content might be shared to a more limited audience. Currently, “Search Plus Your World” would be better described as “Search Plus Google+”
- “It’s a mistake to assume that doing this really shows normal results. It will eliminate personalization factors such as your web browsing history (if you provide that to Google through its toolbar in Internet Explorer), your searching history or your social connections. But geographic targeting — which can be really significant – will still happen.”
- “Another big change as part of today’s release is how people with Google+ accounts are going to be much more heavily highlighted in search results.”
See Also: Official Google Blog Post and Video