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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Google Search Gets More Personal

Google's search is currently limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, but Google today is changing that by bringing Google+ and Picasa Web into the search.

Through Google's social search, users will be able to log into their Google accounts and search for information related to them, such as Google+ photos and posts - both their own and those shared specifically with them. This information will be only visible to each user's own page. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable users to immediately find people they are close to or might be interested in following; and, People and Pages, which help users find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable users to follow them with a few clicks.

In addition to private content, the new Google+ and Picasa Web results can also include content that the user or his contacts have posted or shared publicly.

Google will also include links to Google+ profiles of people's contacts and of people Google determines they might be interested in connecting with.

Google will surface Google+ profiles of individuals and Google+ promotional pages related to a topic the user may be interested in. Google will also include controls in the search page interface for people to add these profiles and pages to their list of Google+ contacts.

Twitter's General Counsel Alex Macgillivray called Google's move "A bad day for the Internet".

"For years, people have relied on Google to deliver the most relevant results anytime they wanted to find something on the Internet.

Often, they want to know more about world events and breaking news. Twitter has emerged as a vital source of this real-time information, with more than 100 million users sending 250 million Tweets every day on virtually every topic. As we?ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant results.

We?re concerned that as a result of Google?s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone. We think that?s bad for people, publishers, news organizations and Twitter users, Macgillivray said.

Google responded to Macgillivray through a post on its official Google+ Page:

"We are a bit surprised by Twitter?s comments about Search plus Your World, because they chose not to renew their agreement with us last summer, and since then we have observed their rel=nofollow instructions."

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