Have you started noticing more of Google+ in the results when you search Google while you are signed in to your Google account? Like, Google+ status updates and photos of those who are in your circles and are saying something relevant to your search query? An example of that can be seen in the screenshot below.
These changes are part of what Google calls Search, plus Your World that it introduced last week and it basically integrates Google+ deeper into Google search results. This works only when you are signed in to your Google account and have personalized search enabled, which is enabled by default. You should be able to see your Google+ friends’ posts, photos etc in the Google search results.
This change didn’t take the tech world by surprise because everyone anticipated that Google will integrate Google+ into search results sooner or later but the scale at which it was implemented did irk a lot of Google watchers out there.
Search guru Danny Sullivan was quite critical of the change and went on to say that “Google is abusing its dominant position in search” by implementing this change.
Jerry Brito took a different take on the subject on TIME and said that this change negatively affected Google’s image as a user-friendly and credible search engine and people are likely to move on to Bing which is far more clutter free.
Matt Cutts on the other hand praised the change and pointed out that this doesn’t mean Google isn’t pulling data from the open web.
If you were to ask me, I am yet to form a firm opinion on this subject. I have tried it a bit and on one occasion it worked quite well and on the other, it was just adding more clutter and prevented me from quickly reaching the most relevant result.
Overall, it is clear that Google will leave no stone unturned in pushing Google+ to the masses, and the question is if this will ultimately lead to the deterioration of the world’s foremost search engine or if people will get used to it to the point that they’ll start praising this Google step in hindsight.
What do you think? How has Google+ affected your Google search experience?