Google has announced that Google Search is going social in a big way. Already, search results include a lot of personalized information and even content relevant only to you, stuff from your friends.
But Google is now rolling out a new version of Google Search that takes it to a whole new level. Among results from the greater web, you'll also start seeing things that your friends only shared with you and a few others or even things you can only see, like Picasa photos.
The privacy conscious and the privacy paranoid alike are going to have a field day, even though Google is not revealing something that isn't already available and searchable via other means.
"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," Amit Singhal, Google's search boss, wrote
As the name suggests, these new results are not only personalized, i.e. catering to you, but personal, i.e. for you alone. What this means in practice is that you'll start seeing things like Google+ photos and posts that others have shared with you or which you have posted, but which aren't public among the regular search results.
These personal results get a special icon next to them, but there's also a new button which highlights the fact that there aren't only regular web results in there.
The interesting thing about it is that you can choose to see only the personal results, meaning only the stuff from Google+, or alternatively, see the regular web search results without any personalization.
Profiles in Search
Another new feature is the inclusion of full Google+ profiles in search results. They show up in the suggestions for people searches and they're also listed among the regular results. These profile results include the option to add a person to your circles and their last posts from Google+.
People and Pages
Finally, there's a new section for people and pages from Google+ which will show up for some searches to the right of the regular results. These will allow you to discover Google+ profiles and pages that may be liked to your query.
All of these new features are being rolled out over the next few days for signed-in users of the English language version of Google Search.