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Google Merges Google+ Into Search 279

Posted by samzenpus
from the relating-to-related-links dept.
SharkLaser writes "Google is today launching an update to their search engine. This update is intended to bring you personalized search results based on your Google+ friends, sharing, pictures and likes. They're calling it 'Search plus Your World,' and the update is going to automatically personalize all search results to a greater degree than before. These personalized matches will appear along your normal search results. For example, if you are searching for images of babies, Google will now personalize your search results and give high preference to baby photos from your Google+ circles. TechCrunch is speculating that over time they will also start adding search results from all the other Google services, including Google Docs, Gmail, Contacts, Music, Voice, wallet and so on. Today's launch also uses Google+ data for another purpose: helping you search for information about people on Google+. For example, if you are searching Google for 'music,' Google will now display relevant people and pages from Google+, like Britney Spears, Alicia Keys and Snoop Dogg." Update: 01/10 18:40 GMT by S : Changed the summary to reflect that the idea of adding search results from other services was speculation from TechCrunch, and not something Google said.
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Google Merges Google+ Into Search

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  • Please no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:13PM (#38652682)

    Make it opt-in instead of opt-out. Please don't junk up my search results.

    • Re:Please no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by masternerdguy (2468142) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:15PM (#38652724)
      Slowly they will make those results more and more dependent on Google+. Resistance is futile.
    • Re:Please no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mystikkman (1487801) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:15PM (#38652726)

      How is this different from MS integrating IE into Windows to beat Netscape? Google has a monopoly on search and is harming other industries such as social networks, maps and finance sites by integrating them by default into the search, whereas other competitors like Map Quest don't have this chance and are dying off slowly like Netscape did.

      • Re:Please no (Score:4, Interesting)

        by DCTech (2545590) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:19PM (#38652786)

        How is this different from MS integrating IE into Windows to beat Netscape? Google has a monopoly on search and is harming other industries such as social networks, maps and finance sites by integrating them by default into the search, whereas other competitors like Map Quest don't have this chance and are dying off slowly like Netscape did.

        The article actually covers that a bit.

        Since the launch of Google+, Google has been putting a lot of muscle behind promoting and integrating the service into its core products. Fire up a new Android 4.0 device, and youâ(TM)ll be prompted to create a Google+ account if you havenâ(TM)t already. Theyâ(TM)ve given it TV ads, not to mention a priceless promotion on its homepage.

        So not only search, but they're using Android and every other product to tie the user to Google+. They're going to get hit hard by antitrust issues.

        • Re:Please no (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:33PM (#38653004) Homepage Journal

          So not only search, but they're using Android and every other product to tie the user to Google+. They're going to get hit hard by antitrust issues.

          So for the dozen or so screens also baked into Android that allow use of Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other social and email services they will need to add a "Join Now" button? I know the SEC and the Justice Department are separate entities but it just feels like as long as Facebook is still privately held the feds don't really give a crap about what happens in social network land (beyond the extent that they can monitor it all at will).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ganjadude (952775)
            I am not a fan of the integrated search results But I have an honest question. How is google pushing its services "wrong" any more than fox showing an ad for the simpsons during an NFL game? If you are on that website (or network tv station) than wouldnt you expect, or even want information provided by that site or network? I dont want to see about jersey shore when im watching hell on wheels you know?
        • Android isn't a monopoly, though, unlike Search.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MightyYar (622222)

          So not only search, but they're using Android and every other product to tie the user to Google+. They're going to get hit hard by antitrust issues.

          They probably have a monopoly that is similar to MS's in the OS and Office markets. So the rule is that they cannot leverage their monopoly in search to push out competitors in other areas.

          They do not have a monopoly in smart phones, so they can push competitors off of their phones entirely if they think it would sell. They can try to use Google+ to encourage people to use other Google products, but it won't help them at all because no one uses Google+. If they start using search to crowd out Facebook in fa

      • by Lashat (1041424)

        It's a push of dogfood (IE) vs pull of my personal info (G+).

      • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

        First off, it is much easier to change search engines than it is to change operating systems. No one is required to use Google Search and there are plenty of competitors. Many people haven't looked at another search engine in years simply because Google does what they want and they presume it is the best. And, of course, many slashdotters wouldn't ever consider using Bing because it is made by the evil M$.

        Secondly, you assert that MapQuest is dying off because of Google integrating maps into Google Search,

        • Re:Please no (Score:4, Informative)

          by recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:54PM (#38653270)

          >Secondly, you assert that MapQuest is dying off because of Google integrating maps into Google Search, but you offer no evidence

          http://www.thewindowsclub.com/fairsearch-coalition-prepares-report-googles-alleged-anticompetitive-conduct [thewindowsclub.com]

          >My experiences with MapQuest and it's user interface were far inferior to my Google Maps experience.

          Netscape was pretty inferior to IE4 as well.

          >Finally, no one is being forced to use any particular service of Google's and no one is forcing one to use Google's other services if one uses Google Search.

          Microsoft never prevented anyone from installing or using Netscape either.

          • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

            A) That link seems to be complaining that Google is adding services the way Yahoo and Microsoft did. Strange that they would complain NOW.

            B) And, your point is what? Inferior products tend to die off.

            C) Right, and because Netscape was, by your own admission, pretty inferior, it died off.

            Seriously, Google isn't doing anything other than what other gateways did in the past. And, by many accounts, it is doing them in an inferior way. If you don't like what is happening or the services provided, don't use Googl

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by DCTech (2545590)

          The antitrust issues rarely are from direct user point of view. It wasn't with Microsoft, it isn't with Google. With Microsoft they were trying to kill other browser and OS makers by making deals with PC manufacturers. With Google it's issue with advertisers, who are the actual customers of Google. Since Google maintains a monopoly on search, they can pretty much dictate pay per click advertising. And they do.

          European Union was looking into Google's monopoly issues because Google was denying advertisers fr [bloomberg.com]

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        How is this different from MS integrating IE into Windows to beat Netscape? Google has a monopoly on search and is harming other industries such as social networks, maps and finance sites by integrating them by default into the search, whereas other competitors like Map Quest don't have this chance and are dying off slowly like Netscape did.

        That's an easy one; with MS the customer was the person sitting at the computer, and they were also tasked with deciding which browser software to use (from a range or free and for-pay packages). With Google, the only people who could be construed as customers are those purchasing ad space; if you are using the search engine you are not their customer, you are part of their *product*. Because the ad war for eyeballs stops at basically nothing, it is hard to argue they are abusing a market position in one

      • Cry me a river. Anyone can go to these other sites if they want. If Google is the best, no one cares. I use Google because all those services are integrated. There is no monopoly on search. People are confusing monopoly with everyone choosing to use Google. It cannot be a detriment if most people are choosing to visit Google.

      • Totally different.

        Microsoft bundled IE with Windows - if you bought windows (which a consumer pretty much had to in those days) you also got IE
        With Google, if you use both Google+ and search, they work synergistically. One doesn't force you to get the other. If they required you to sign up to Google+ to use search, then you'd have a closer parallel

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I just searched for "music" and got no results from Google Plus on the first page. A more specific query, "Snoop Dogg", doesn't turn up his Google Plus page. His twitter page comes right up though. What have they actually done here, because it looks like the same old search to me.

      • by DCTech (2545590)

        They're launching it today, and Google always rolls updates slowly to all users. Article has pictures showing what it looks like.

    • by bhcompy (1877290) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:24PM (#38652874)
      Microsoft doesn't even need to do anything but stick with what they're doing at this point for Bing to grow. Google is junking up the search results, as you would say, more and more with each passing month
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by 0123456 (636235)

        Agreed. I tried Bing last week because Google results were so useless and my first thought was 'hey, this looks just like Google did before it started sucking ass'.

      • If anything drives me mad, it's damned machines second guessing me. Over Christmas, briefly, it started doing everything in Dutch. Yes, I checked my browser preferences - it was ignoring them.

        And how about gmail's new look - total train wreck (not that the old one was a paragon of ergonomics).

    • Re:Please no (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:48PM (#38653188) Homepage Journal
      Toooooooo laaaaaaaaaaaaate [makingithappen.co.uk]. Soon we will all live within our own socially-bounded thought bubbles, and the Internet's power to connect people will just be an abstraction layer on top of the physical world. Say goodbye to having your culture, values, and beliefs challenged. Advertising has spoken, and advertising hates having to pander to multiple audiences at the same time.
    • ... I'm actually worried about OTHER people's search results. People who don't know any better than to go look for information outside of their social circles.

      If I search for "origin of species", I'll see references to Charles Darwin.
      If students in Kansas look it up, they'll probably see all kinds of links to creationism and how evolution is wrong/evil.

      (and no, i don't mean to start a flamewar with that. it's just the first example that popped into my head where different social circles could see completely

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:14PM (#38652698)

    I'm pretty sure that Google is Skynet, but instead of nuking us it will just embarrass us all to death once it achieve sentience.

  • Desperation? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297)
    I guess they need to find some way to get people to use Google+...
  • by geek (5680)

    Ive stopped using google because of all this Plus nonsense. No Chrome, gmail, search, nothing. I switched all my service elsewhere. Maybe google will turn the ship around but I doubt it. They seem like the are on a downward slide, maybe they just got too arrogant.

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      I am ready to quit their mail and have quit everything else. Only thing I still cant find a viable replacement for is Reader... ugh....

    • Your comment is a great example of why I don't think anti-trust issues will be a big problem for Google, at least in the US.

      • by geek (5680)

        Calling google a monopoly is repugnant. We still have tons of choices (ironically we have most of these choices because of google). Google isn't so much a monopoly as just a parasite. They leach ad revenue off anything and everything they can. They latch themselves on pretty firmly but it's still quite possible to ditch them.

        If anyone reading like this is like me and upset with google then the best thing you can do to remove them is to stop using "google" as a verb. Start "searching" and correct people when

    • We should start a fund-drive to take out full page ads that say "Google, you are not our overlords". Since there is no way to "contact" google, it would take something that drastic for them to realize how douchey they are being.

    • I have just closed my G+ account due to this latest announcement. I'm tired of Google crapping up my search results and changing the layouts to darn near everything on me. This was the last straw.

      This guy has a tutorial [troublefixers.com] on how you can safely remove your G+ account without losing your Gmail account or Picasa pictures. After you go through the process Google asks why you are leaving--I recommend everyone drop them a link to this article so they know exactly why we're fed up. Maybe it will open some eyes
    • Well good luck finding anything

  • by OS24Ever (245667) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:15PM (#38652722) Homepage Journal

    When I'm searching it's because 'my world' doesn't know the answer and I have to go elsewhere. Filtering out people I don't know first makes it harder to find things.

    If I had a google+ account I guess I would care, unless this forces me to create one which means I have an issue.

  • YESSSSS!!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:16PM (#38652740)

    I AM SO EXCITED! LOL! I HAVE BEEN WAITING 4 THIS DAY FOR LIKE 4EVER! I CAN'T WAIT TO TELL MY BFFS THAT THEY CAN SEARCH AND B ON SOSHUL NETWORK TOO. I CN GT LADY GAGA & SNOOKI UPDATES.

    NOW IF I CN JUST GET MY AOL MAIL THEIR 2, IT WULD BE SOOOOOOOOO COOL

    • by ifrag (984323)
      At least now we know who their target market is.
      • by tftp (111690)

        At least now we know who their target market is.

        It was always their target market. Do you think Google expected RMS and geeks like him to jump into social networking? How smart must be the user who wants to spend years of their life sending pointless "updates" and receiving the same from other people?

        • Re:EYEBALLS! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:49PM (#38654094)

          Remember how they started - giving search results with a clean interface. What you were looking for, and nothing else. Their target market, when they started, was people who wanted to find what they were looking for.

          Then they realized how much money they could make on advertising, and search stopped being their product. Eyeballs are now their product. That's when they switched target markets from "people who knew what they wanted" to "the lowest common denominator".

          They make a web browser (Chrome), and fund a competitor (FireFox), because they want to reach the most eyeballs. Android is all about Google services and advertising. GoogleBook (sorry, Google+) is about reaching the drooling window-lickers who have to know what Snooki is wearing today, if they aren't using Android, Google Search, Chrome, Gmail, or any other Google service.

  • You don't agree with!
  • Is it me, or am I the only person who searches for things *they don't already know?* As personalisation increases, our very idea of relevance becomes more limited. If I search for music and this new-fangled searchy thing is going to throw me stuff that I already like, how am I ever going to get the chance of liking anything radically different? Oh, I know. How about by not using Google+
    • by allo (1728082)

      yeah. most of the other people google for "facebook.com" and "weather today".

  • Improve results (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:22PM (#38652820) Journal

    I am not sure this will actually make results more relevant. I mean I have and I would assume most other people have a kind of mental catalog of if now what they have stored, what types of things they have stored and know how and where to look for it.

    If I wanted pictures of friends and families babies, I'd probably go to my images/family folder in my home directory, or to that person's facebook or G+ page. Same thing for e-mail if I am looking for personal correspondence I'd search my own e-mail archives, even if those happened to be g-mail.

    Seems to me when I am keying something into Google.com I am looking for things primarily that are actually quite impersonal. What's the address of this business?, who is a good local plumber?, how to make that netfilter rule work, does anyone have Slackware packages or buildscripts for $project, What is a $object?, How does $object work?, etc.

    These things are not going to be found in my own library of stuff if they were to be found there I'd already be using a much more target search. I honestly think my own stuff would be more of a distraction in Google results most of the time.

    It will be interesting to see if people find any value in this.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      It will be interesting to see if people find any value in this.

      Presumably this will mean that people have to search more to find the things they actually want, which will mean that Google will serve more ads, which will mean they'll make more money.

    • by owlnation (858981)

      It will be interesting to see if people find any value in this.

      People will. But... those people are advertisers, not users.

      This will likely result in more successful targeting of ads: the fact that it probably skews your search results and means you don't find what you are looking for easily, is of little consequence to Google -- at least not until there's some sort of backlash. They can happily ride the extra carriage on the Gravy Train until then.

      Search, despite being Google's core business, has

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        I've seen many people claim this. What, exactly, are you searching for that it doesn't come up quickly? 90% of the things I search for are answered in the first 3-4 links. The only time I even have to go to the second page is if it is an obscure and/or very specific piece of information that I'm looking for. Facts are usually answered directly by Google even before the first link. Out of curiosity I did a quick comparison of searches for two facts (release date of The Darkness 2, one of the first things to

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          I've seen many people claim this. What, exactly, are you searching for that it doesn't come up quickly?

          Generally speaking, any kind of specialist information. Rather than give me the dozen results on the web that are actually useful, Google will convert the actual words I typed in into different words because it's sure I didn't mean to search for what I actually asked it to search for, and then spew out ten million results with the dozen useful results hidden among them.

          The 'smarter' Google make their search, the worse the results become because the 'smarts' are all aimed at the lowest common denominator who

    • by DaveV1.0 (203135)

      Seems to me when I am keying something into Google.com I am looking for things primarily that are actually quite impersonal. What's the address of this business?, who is a good local plumber?, how to make that netfilter rule work, does anyone have Slackware packages or buildscripts for $project, What is a $object?, How does $object work?, etc.

      And, if your friend Joe used Steve's Plumbing and posted about it, Joe's post will show up in your results. The same goes for everything else you have mentioned.

  • Good job, Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by socrplayr813 (1372733) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:23PM (#38652854)

    All this means is that I will never again sign into my Google accounts in my browser. You can't give me screwed up results if you don't know who I am. If it gets too much worse, I'm probably just going to bail altogether. Thanks, Google.

    • You say that now. They'll find a solution for not logging on. Don't forget they were trying to make a Google OS for desktops before Android took off. Look at the Android model and ask yourself just how fast a new desktop OS could spread.

      XP is going to be soon out dated. People still using XP are either on the cheaper end of the PC spectrum or not-nerds capable of upgrading to anything better at this point. Google has enough design saviness that they could compete on that battlefield with Apple, but wit

    • Re:Good job, Google (Score:5, Informative)

      by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:02PM (#38653372) Homepage

      Or you can just click the button they offer that disables the G+ personalization.

  • So integrating Google+ has screwed up their search engine so it's confusing crap with music?
    Alicia Keys is the only actual musician in that list.

    Get off my lawn....

  • by Dwedit (232252) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:27PM (#38652910) Homepage

    And now I've deleted my unused Google+ account.

  • Or at least make it optional. When I search the web, I want to search the web and not my emails.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Or at least make it optional. When I search the web, I want to search the web and not my emails.

      You could just not hand all your personal information over to Google by setting up a Googlebook account.

  • No? Then why can they know what we search for? Do we work for them, or the other way around?

  • People use Google to search for information, it that search becomes personally biased in favor of people you "friend" this makes Google's search page less helpful for the user.
    This should be a check box on the screen left unchecked to allow for the broader search. With a simple toggle of the check box it can then simplify the search to your personalized search.

    • From TFA:

      Finally, the launch includes a few options for managing the new features. A new tab will let you select either the 'Search plus Your World' results, or you can toggle back to the old-fashioned, unpersonalized results. There's also an option in Google settings that will let you opt out of the experience entirely.

  • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:32PM (#38652982) Journal
    Will it show my friends dick pics? :(
  • "What if we could" instead of "Why would they want it". Sometimes it works out really great. I don't think this will be one of those times.
  • I don't want to search within "my world". I know everything here. It's MY WORLD.

    When I need to find information online, I do a search of ALL OTHER KNOWN WORLDS.

    Google is just racing for fail over and over lately. I don't know if they're just shooting the dark or actually think that their users want this.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:36PM (#38653044) Homepage

    We're releasing a Google ad blocker [sitetruth.com], which is in test now. It lets one ad through, and blocks the rest, to de-clutter Google results. We could add some other blocking capabilities. Let me know what Google won't let you turn off. If you try this, and there are new "social" ads which slip through, we'd really like to hear about it. Thanks.

    Google's recent direction seems to follow H. L. Mencken's line "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." Google is getting better at answering dumb questions, and worse at answering hard ones. The problem is that Google now assumes the question is dumb, auto-correcting in the direction of common words and questions. That's yet another problem with feeding "social" data into search. Then they try to patch this by profiling each user with "search customization". But that assumes there's a pattern to an individual user's hard questions. (This leads to the concept that search customization should estimate how smart each user is, a data item which can be sold to advertisers to generate sucker lists.)

  • by IcyHando'Death (239387) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:37PM (#38653054)
    I'm not exactly thrilled about the idea of Google narrowing my world view for me, but I suppose this is just an incremental step down a path we set out on long ago. Remember when "Site of the Day" was everybody's favorite spot on the web?
    • I'm not exactly thrilled about the idea of Google narrowing my world view for me

      Then turn it off. You can do that.

      but I suppose this is just an incremental step down a path we set out on long ago.

      The more there is on the internet, the more tools are needed to narrow down to get what you want, separating the (subjective) wheat from the chaff. In many cases, I suspect that incorporating social graph information will enable mechanisms to improve search quality.

  • There is no way normal people are going to like being able to google into the ever increasing amount of social data. Nope. Not at all.

    I'm going to delete my google acount, because extending search to other sets of data is something I don't like and Google shouldn't do it.

  • I like Google, and have stuck with google+ for that sole reason. I even still use iGoogle, I like all the widgets and such. But this sort of thing makes me want to drop it all. It's bad enough that Google's tracking everything I do, but to have them tailoring my friends and families searches based on my own online activities? That's just asking for some very embarrassing screw ups on both my part and googles.
  • by gQuigs (913879) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:49PM (#38653200) Homepage

    I've pretty much switched to http://duckduckgo.com/ [duckduckgo.com]

    Check out http://dontbubble.us/ [dontbubble.us] and http://donttrack.us/ [donttrack.us]. This would be an example of bubbling, btw.

    And if you don't find results (I'd say Google has better results about 20-30% of the time) !g brings that search term to Google.

  • Really? Can you describe what is it about Google's current search that you find so pristine that you've bought into the idea that all and any change == bad? Was it that way last month or last year because Google changes their search all the time ...

    Google's self declared mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" So much of our lives and a great portion of worlds information is now happening on social networks. Of course that data should be made acce

  • No more lmgtfy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CharmElCheikh (1140197) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:55PM (#38653278)
    So now we won't be able to copy-paste a google search to someone to brag "AHAH ! First page, first result!" because everyone's result will be different. Not sure that's a great feature.
  • Fine. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdamJS (2466928) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:21PM (#38653608)

    Google used to be good. Really really good. In a sea of paid-priority listing search engines that returned mostly crap, and the same crap at that, they were a shining diamond.

    But for quite some time, their results have been getting far worse, the search has gotten LESS flexible (and more "I know what you want to search for, NOT you, the user") and they've become that which they were supposed to be better than. That even MSN/Live/MS/Bing can return better results and actually listens to my syntax far better than Google is a travesty.

    So they can take their final self-administered nail in their coffin and bugger off.

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