To ‘Google’ something is now common lexicon. Some of us remember the time there was no such thing as Google searching – I’m not one of those people. And I’m usually not on the cutting edge of information technology, or else I’d own firstname.lastname@example.org or even email@example.com. But that’s about to change, Google Search Plus Your World (SPYW) is the next step beyond your traditional search, and I’m fully cognizant of it. Google SPYW determines what is relevant in search queries influenced by a person’s groups, friends, and past searches. The company aims to personalize your results by including more Google+ Proﬁles, business pages, posts and Google+ and Picasa Photos. You must be signed in with Google Plus to use SPYW. Therefore, if you’re not fond of Google+, tough luck, your search results will not be personalized.
So basically, as of now, Google has worked rather methodically in its algorithms of crawling the web during web searches. With Google SPYW, there is no longer a wide net. There is a proxy of YOU crawling and grabbing and dodging trillions of words and photos and videos that are and aren’t relevant. It does this by surfacing content that has been shared with you on Google+, as well as public information from its social networking site, and integrates this data into typical Web search results.
With SPYW, your friends’ online experiences are more relevant to your personal search results than links and domain authority. However, if your search results end up not being relevant, you may have your friends to unthank, unlike, or un+. Google+ has a new feature that not only helps you make new friends with similar tastes and ideas, but also ones that will help you search the web. Yep, a twofer. The feature allows searchers to start a conversation directly from search results, with their friends, and contribute to the conversation through Google+ stream.
There are three types of Google+ data that will show up in your SPYW results:
- -Personal results: includes data from your own photos and posts, as well as Google+ data that has been shared with you.
- -Proﬁles in search: more Google+ proﬁles appearing in your search results.
- -Proﬁles and Pages: results from Google+ business pages and notable Google+users.
I hear the libertarians marching! Put those torches and pitchforks down – no one will know what your searching for and what phrase you used (well except for you and Google, at least for now – they donʼt wanna creep us out too quickly). I guess after writing that, you can keep only the torches lit, and use them only for nonviolent castle wandering. With SPYW your results are hidden behind http:// and no keywords will be linked to your search in any analytics program. If you are super creeped by this, or feel your personal liberties are being violated, there is a new opt-out feature that is available to all users searching Google in English. And you if want to go ahead and adjust your search settings you can here.
Although this may seem like a great idea to some, there has been serious criticism saying they are making its search relevancy worse and favoring their Google Plus social network too much. To some, itʼs frowned upon that the company is using their popularity as a search engine provider to promote its social network by prioritizing Google+ data. Even though the site is expected to have more than 400 million users by the end of 2012 and 625,000 members are signing up everyday (which may be in part of the 700,000 Android devices sold everyday, which makes signing up for Google Plus easier). Makes me wonder if we’re being manufactured to Google’s will, just as their leading product is labeled, like an android. Iʼm interested in seeing how this personalized search engine will work out, both the benefits of this new frontier in internet searches, as well as the controversy that is sure to surface.