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Google+ Content to Surface More Prominently in Search

Google has announced its long-awaited move to personalize search results with content from Google+
  • “Search plus Your World”
  • A searcher can now pull up stuff from Google+ connections.
  • A search for “Ben Smith” could pull up the Google+ profile for one the user knows personally rather than information about the new editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed.
  • A search of “music” would retrieve Google+ profiles of Britney Spears and Alicia Keys or other “prominent people who frequently discuss the topic” on Google+.
Why is this newsworthy?
“Search Plus Your World ”:To be or not to be, this is a question.
  • Be: Make life easier, more active users
  • Not to Be: It will take time

The new product doesn’t include streams from Facebook and Twitter. Personalized results include private or “Limited” Google+ posts and photos.

“If they can get advertisers to do the same thing — to say, ‘Go engage with my brand via Google+’ — it’s a brilliant scenario because Google can rely on the marketers as sellers in promoting the platform,” said Kevin Lee, CEO of Didit.” Search plus Your World” will become the default setting for signed-in Google users, though they do have the ability to opt out. Even so, Google runs the risk of alienating the subset of power users on Google+ whose search experience will be most affected since the new product doesn’t include streams from Facebook, Twitter or Flickr and thus doesn’t accurately represent their social worlds. (Google used to have access to a firehose of Twitter data to power real-time search results, but let the subscription lapse in July.)

“I think this is one of those rare times when the Google premise has the distinct possibility of not being a satisfying outcome for a consumer because it’s not the full social graph,” said Chris Copeland, CEO of GroupM Search. “It’s the Google graph.”