Google began rolling out a new update to search results known as the “Search plus Your World” that includes both public results with privately shared posts and profiles from your Google+ account.
You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to… all from one search box.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.
There are a few scenarios where the Search plus Your World results will prove beneficial. Included in the results are three new features: Personal Results provide photos and posts privately shared from your Google+ account, Profiles in Search, which includes Google+ profiles in results and auto complete, and People and Pages that provides quick links to celebrities and brand pages related to your query.
Of course, there are concerns being raised that Google is favoring its own service’s results over content from other similar social networks. As TechCrunch noted, this is only the beginning of personal search results starting with Google+ and Picasa, but it will eventually likely include results from Gmail, Google Docs, and other Google services. Google is providing a toggle to turn off the new personal results for those who do not want to participate. The company also clarified its stance on potential security concerns for the update:
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. That’s part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. This means when you’re signed in to Google, your search results—including your private content—are protected by the same high standards of encryption as your messages in Gmail…personal results are clearly marked as Public, Limited or Only you. Additionally, people in your results are clearly marked with the Google+ circle they are in, or as suggested connections.
The Search plus Your World update has not rolled out to everyone, but it should begin rolling out to English-searching users in the next couple days. More screenshots are available below: