Google’s search results pages are getting a facelift, as the new “Search plus Your World” format is being rolled out. These changes mean searches will be able to see content that’s been shared with them privately along with matches from the public web, on the same results page.
The new format could make life easier, as you’ll be seeing more targeted content, as you’ll see privately shared links and listing from friends and family. This will be combined with content from across the web, but now it will all be in one listing, rather than two.
What’s it going to look like?
The listing are based on your own behaviour and social connections, there will also be content that has been shared with you through the Google+ social network.
The new toggle on the right hand side of the screen will allow users to switch between personalised and non-personalised results.
Another change to the results page is, people with Google+ accounts will see it Google+ content more heavily highlighted on their search result. For those logged in, you will be able to see friend and family.
There will be more room on the results pages, dedicated to displaying material from the Google+ profiles, such as pictures and recent updates.
What are the concerns?
Many people would welcome the changes; however some are concerned about privacy issues. The main worry is that privately shared content will be publically accessible on the search page, Google have said this is not the case; although it may appear public because it is on the results page, it will only be published on your results page. The new format might also cause concerns, as it is making private content more visible to friend and family than sharing may have initially intended.
The changes will happen by default, as Google have adopted an opt-out approach. They think it will make for ‘a much better user experience’. You can permanently opt-out through the Search Settings area on Google. You can also opt-out on a per-search basis by clicking the globe on the toggle. This means the users will still be able to see ‘normal’ results, if they want them.
Wherever your views on Google, adding a social element for user interaction seems to be the way forward, as we have seen with Facebook + Spotify. Although Facebook and Twitter feeds are not yet on search results pages, watch this space; the next step seem to be uniting personal, private, public and social!