Google+ public posts being inserted into search results

google_circles

Coming off the a recent dissolution of a partnership with Twitter for real-time search results, Google has started to intertwine public posts made on Google+ with search results. When a user is signed into any Google service and performs a search, they will see annotations about links shared on Google+ from their friends and connections of friends.

G+ in search resultsHowever, the text only shows that a person shared the link, not their opinion on it. If a friend shares a link to restaurant website on Google+ to mock the terrible food or service, it would still show up on Google as “Friend Name shared this on Google”. It’s possible to that disliked links will appear as recommendations. However, if a user clicks the Google+ link underneath the search result, they can see the full Google+ post to understand why the link was posted.

Google was quick to stress that only public posts will appear in search results. Any links or posts shared within a circle of friends won’t appear on a Google results page. Micrsoft’s Bing launched a similar feature recently that ties search results into the Facebook API. When searching for a term on Bing, any links that have been “liked” by Facebook friends become more prominent in the results. This requires the user to be logged into Facebook while performing a search on Bing.

This announcement likely ties into Google’s attempt to make sure that all Google+ users are listing their own names on the service. Google has recently shifted its policy from banning accounts without notice to giving users 4 days notice to change the Google+ account to the legal name. In some cases, they are even requesting scans of government issued ID to prove that a user has that name. After the grace period of four days, the account is suspended by Google.

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