What is Google Search Plus?

Starting Tuesday, Google announced a major breakthrough in their search engine algorithms – “Include your Personal preferences in your search results“. So what does this mean to a normal IT guy and a blogger like me?

When you have logged on to your Google account either via gmail or Google+, and you are searching for a particular phrase(currently limited to English language only), you will see a new option coming up in your result page as you can see in the screenshot below:

 

As you might have already guessed, I have logged into my DailyMorningCoffee gmail account and searched for the keyword ‘Coffee’. Now as you see, it has shown me “350 personal results” and also asks me to “Upgrade to Search Plus“.

Once you do the upgrade, all your searches will be personalized with the keywords from your google account. For example, if I searched for “blog”, i will see the below result set right on top of my list with a small indicator to the left which notifies me that those are my personalized search results. Clearly from those 3 results, I can see that those are some of the bloggers whom I have interacted with(the Images seem to be a little off with the names).

When you do the upgrade, it also provides an option to sync your picasa web albums to your account for the searches and that is how it has displayed those images in my results.

I agree that sometimes you may not want to see those personalized search results, and you can turn off the feature by going to your Personal Search Settings.

There are several views and opinions on this feature already by many IT gurus and tech reviewers. I heard to a chat show today morning where the person was mentioning his personal experience after upgrading to Search Plus.

“When I searched for “thai” it started showing me “nearest thai restaurants” and “thai recipes” since I am a food junkie. Before it used to show me “thailand population” or “visit thailand”. 

My personal opinion is appreciate what is given to you, if you do not wish to have, turn off the feature and move on with you life. What do you think of this breakthrough in the search engine technology? Are you liking it or have you switched if OFF?

See below a video clip of the same:

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Praveen Rajarao is an Entrepreneur and in his spare time blogs on his website –http://www.dailymorningcoffee.com and http://www.pbgeeks.com. His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.

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17 comments

  1. Well Praveen, I checked that out and I don’t have the personal search icon at the top of Google.  So I did a search and the results are coming up that you have to clear your cookies and history or there is a plug-in that might be installed that will cause this to be implemented even though I didn’t implement the personal search feature.

    Kind of confusing really because when I’m doing keyword research I don’t want my personal search results to show up.  I’m not real sure if this is a good thing or not.  What are your thoughts?
    Twitter:

    1. Adrienne – When you go to google.com, on the right top corner you will see the sign in option. Did you try signing in with you google id? If you have done that, then you should see the Personal results as well as the little icon to the left of each of those results indicating that they are personalized. 

      I checked this both on Google Chrome & IE and it behaves the same. 

      I think this is a great feature to be added, but as you say this may not be very friendly at all times. But having said that, I believe the algorithm just picks up the important keywords from your google account interactions and the result sets are biased upon that. Still not able to come to any conclusion on it being useful or not 🙂
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  2. This is a really interesting concept. It opens  a whole new dimension as to how we can use the web. To me there is an obvious benefit that almost draws a distinction between using Google for work or personal benefits.

  3. Thanks for the details! I am still learning my way through Google+, and now even more to learn! I hadn’t caught up with the “older” features Google+. Guess I have some more weekend homework!

  4. Now that I have figured how to turn it on and off with a click, I’m OK with it.  I actually think it’s rather funny to see people I’ve met through social media showing up on the screen. It might be mildly useful when it’s next to a link, but I don’t know why my little image needs to be at the top of the screen next to 350 results.

    Lots of others are covering the same topic, but when you show the images you found, I recognize some of the bloggers!  And you explain clearly and succinctly.  Some of the labeling mistakes are rather funny (like when the image has the wrong gender for the name).  I just searched for “personal search settings” and your avatar appeared.
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    1. Leora – Thanks for leaving your comment. I am not sure on what basis it picks up the images to display, maybe the most number of interactions or something. 

      I am starting to like it when I am not searching around for technical stuff related to work. 
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  5. It is indeed a wonderful feature to know about things – more so as it shows you your contacts also who may be related to what you are looking for.

    When it was first launched and I checked it out- the google plus search was showing, but right now when I tried it, it seems to have disappeared when I type google.com? May be it got disabled somehow and may come up again later. 

    I too believe as you so rightly said that take what’s given and remain grateful for things! If you don’t like it, switch off the option or put it on again when needed. That’s the best option.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Twitter:

    1. Harleena – I think you might have logged off your google account and it would have disappeared. Try it again, I dont think google will disable this feature anytime soon. 

      Glad you liked the post and hope to see you back soon. 
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  6. Hi Praveen,

    Very cool information here. I have been learning more about Google+…it’s still a bit foreign to me in some ways, but I am loving everything that they’re doing with this neat application.

    I initially have the same preoccupations with it that Adrienne expressed…but I think the best cure for these kinds of preoccupations is always first starting with getting familiar with how it works. Similarly, many have been complaining about how information is shared via the new Facebook Timeline, but it’s really not so scary if we are aware of how it works, what’s shared, and take personal responsibility in all that we are sharing. 😉

    Hope you had an awesome weekend!

    Cat Alexandra

    1. Cat – I agree with you that we need to be completely aware of what the features of a new tool are before criticizing them. There are many good things that we can learn from and implement. The ones that do not apply to us are what we can always ignore or discard. 

      Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.
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