Google makes search personal

Google on Tuesday wove content from its social network and Picasa photo-sharing service into its search formula to serve up personalised results to online queries.

"Search plus your world" was billed as a major change to the leading Internet search engine.

"There is a huge amount of content on the Web today but, at a certain point this content is nameless and faceless," Google's Ben Gomes told AFP.

"The most relevant content is from people you know so we are introducing your personal world to search."

People signed into Google accounts will be able to have the search engine include in results content approved for sharing by them or friends at Google+ or Picasa.
"I've been trying it out and it really changes the nature of search for me," Gomes said. "Now when I search for Bangalore I not only see information about the city but I see pictures of the house where I grew up."

A cursor hovering over an image will reveal where the picture was shared online and by whom, according to Gomes.

"We want to show you your personal data and data from friends," Gomes said. "We want to use Google+ and circles as the underlying infrastructure."

Google's social network lets users share comments, pictures, videos or other online content based on which "circles" friends, family, co-workers or acquaintances fall into.
Google is also enhancing searches for information about people by factoring in Google+ posts.

"It is a whole new kind of search you can do that is focussed on content respective to a particular person," Gomes said.

Google will also show which celebrities or other prominent people are commenting at the social network about topics of searches.

Personal data woven into results is protected with encryption and other security on par with that used to safeguard Google's email service, according to Gomes.

"We've gone above and beyond on control because we know people are sensitive with personal data," he said.

Google plans to weave its social network into an array of its properties and services as it builds an online community in a market dominated by Facebook.

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