On Tuesday, the Official Google Blog announced a radical change in the personalization of search results. The change is called “Search Plus Your World,” and the format is already rolling out. If you haven’t seen it yet while searching Google yet (while logged into your Google profile), you will see it sometime this week.
Search Plus Your World finds content that’s been shared with you through people in your circles and displays it with public search results. The combined search results display as a single set of listings. Quoting the official blog post,
Google search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes that means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about…Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search.
The new system makes it easier to find shared content from family and friends, including webpages, images, videos, news, and more. The personal results feature enables you to find results just for you, such as Google+ posts from people in your circles. The profiles of people you follow will display in the search, both in autocomplete and posts, so you know which friends have +1′d the content.
Although the ability to find privately shared content brings up potential security concerns, especially because it will appear in-line with the public search results. It could also cause problems by making private content more visible to more users than originally intended. The view personalizes listings based on the behavior of yourself and your social connections. You will know that personalized search results are appearing when the total search results display. For instance, it will say “25 personal results and 52,000 other results.” The most relevant posts of the personal results will show on the first page.