Google’s search results have been influenced by social signals to a limited extent for years . To give a brief history, Google launched Social Search in October 2009 :
Google builds a social circle of your friends using the connections linked from your public Google profile, such as the people you’re following on Twitter or FriendFeed. Chat buddies and contacts in your groups from Gmail, some websites from your Google Reader subscriptions are included in your social circle.
At that time Social Search was segregated from regular listings. Google would provide relevant public content from your friends and contacts and highlighted it for you at the bottom of your search results.
This further evolved in February 2011. Google’s social search results were blended into regular results in Febrary 2011 and grew to include not just content created by those you know but also content shared by them through a many social networks.
Notes were added for links people have shared on Twitter and other sites. Content shared on Twitter, Google Reader, Quora, and other sites you and your contacts have listed in your Google Profiles are used by Google. A new Google Account setting allows you to add social networking accounts to your Google Profile while keeping the connections private.
Google Plus Buttons were launched in June 2011. Larry Page has announced that 90 million users have signed up to Google Plus since launch : compelling evidence that Google Plus buttons are growing in importance.
What is Search Plus Your World
On 1/10/2012, Google announced roll out of Search Plus Your World,
Three new features have been introduced in social search:
1. Personal Results, : Google will show results personalized for yourself, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you,
2. Profiles in Search, auto-complete and results, will suggest profiles of people you’re close to or might be interested in following;
3. People and Pages, this will suggest people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and you can choose follow them with just a few clicks.
Search plus Your World is available to people who are signed in and searching on https://www.google.com in English. E.g., it has not been rolled out to google.co.in
With Search Plus Your World, by default, there’s a new “Personal Results” view that appears. The view personalizes the listings you get based on both your own behavior and social connections. Now it includes content that’s been shared with you through the Google+ social network : public Google+ posts, photos or Google Picasa photos and private or “Limited” Google+ posts, photos or Google Picasa photos shared with you
You’ll be alerted that personalized results are appearing when you see one or both of the indicators :
• a message that says that there are “x personal results and xxx other results”
• new toggle that allows you to switch between personalized and unpersonalized results.
Search Plus Your World doesn’t cover content on Faceboo, Twitter, Flick, or other social networks content might be shared to private audience.
You can opt-out permanently through the Search Settings area on Google. You can also opt-out on a per-search basis using the aforementioned toggle. Click on the globe symbol, and you’ll see unpersonalized results.
Your Search Plus Your World results are hidden behind https:// and no keywords will be linked to your search in any analytics programs.
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