Google is revolutionizing its search results in ways it never has before. Today the search giant announced “Search Plus You World,” which will compile search results based on content that’s been shared with users privately, as well as matches from the public Web into one set of listings.
Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan discusses the new search format in detail saying, “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.”
This could prove to be the biggest change in Google’s search results, but as Sullivan points out, the company will surely come under scrutiny for promoting its own content over that of its competitors. And what sets this change apart from others that have been implemented is that it will be combining social search results with public search results into one big stream, as opposed to two separate ones. This could be useful for users because they would be able to see both results at once, but it could also confuse others for the same reason.
Sullivan notes that the singular list of search results could create privacy concerns for Google because people may think those are public listings. But don’t worry, they’re not. They only appear to you because they have been shared with you. Unless someone has had that information shared with them personally on one of their social networks, they won’t be able to see private content.
In Sullivan’s article, Google’s Amit Singhal said, “The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful.”
It’s important to note that Google has not integrated Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or any other social networks aside from Google+. But that is not Google’s fault according to Singhal who said, “Facebook and Twitter and other services, basically, their terms of service don’t allow us to crawl them deeply and store things. Google+ is the only [network] that provides such a persistent service. Of course, going forward, if others were willing to change, we’d look at designing things to see how it would work.”
But aside from the social aspect of Search Plus Your World, the new search format could also have big SEO implications. Now that Googlers will be seeing more personalized search results based on what has been shared with them, it could prove a challenge for websites trying to to rank highly on the first page.
Only time will tell exactly what the effects of Search Plus Your World will be, what do you think of the new search format? Is it an improvement of Google’s services or a hindrance?