Jan 112012


Whether you love it or hate it, you’ll want to build out your Google+ profile because starting today, Google is going to start using it to influence your search results.

Google launched a bunch of new connections between Google+ and its search engine, which will now pull a lot of data from your Google+ profile to make each search more personalized.

Here’s everything the company added today: 

  • Personal Results: Google+ photos and posts — both your own and those shared specifically with you — will show up in your search results.
  • Profiles in Search: Google+ profiles will now show up in both autocomplete and search results.
  • People and Pages: Google will start showing relevant Google+ pages and people on the site and add ways to quick follow them in your search results.

You can disable the feature — called “Search Plus Your World — whenever you want by clicking a button on the search results page.

Worth noting: the post announcing these changes to Google search was written by Amit Singhal, who at one point said social was irrelevant.

Here’s what he told BusinessWeek in a report around this time last year:


[Amit] seems skeptical about whether social data can make search results significantly more relevant. If he’s searching for a new kind of dishwasher, he argues, his friend’s recommendations are interesting, but the cumulative opinion of experts manifested in search results is much more valuable.

He notes that Google already integrates content from Twitter and says social networking data is easily manipulated. Can social context make search more relevant?

“Maybe, maybe not. Social is just one signal. It’s a tiny signal,” he says.

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