What's up with Google's big search switch??

NEED TO KNOW
  • Google including social media posts within your search results
  • Prioritizes Google+ in push to elevate its own social site
  • Do tweets get the search shaft? Twitter furious over changes
What's up with Google's big search switch??

If you've done a Google search today (whole world raises its hand) then you've likely already seen it.

The little anthropomorphic, floating, blue head and body welcoming you to "Search plus Your World," Google's huge search revamp which was introduced on Tuesday.

And if you're thinking "Revamp? My Google searches were fine just the way they were, thank you very much," well you may be right. But apparently Google didn't think its engine was casting a wide enough net. Specifically, it wasn't snaring social media content that may help you find what you're looking for.

They've called it "Search Plus Your World," but you can just consider it "social search." Because anyone who's signed in to their Google profile will now start seeing relevant photos, links and posts from Google+ users, mixed right in with traditional search returns.

"We all turn to people we know and trust for great recommendations," Google writes on the welcome page. "With personal results, you'll see relevant tips, photos, and posts from your friends right alongside results from the web."

And by "friends," what they really mean is "friends or strangers ... who have Google+ accounts." Search Plus Your World won't necessarily prioritize returns from Twitter (more on that backlash below), but it will elevate those from Google+ and Google properties, like Picasa.

And if that sounds to you like Google is leveraging its huge search powers to boost its social site, you would be entirely correct.

Read more: Is Google+ blowing up?

"The change will expose Google+ profiles, as well as posts and photographs uploaded to the network, to hundreds of millions of search users whether or not they have Google+ accounts," writes Fortune's Miguel Helft.

And if we're talking strictly about getting the best search results to solve whatever it is you're looking for, this all makes some sense. If you're searching for "best pizza in Atlanta* " and a local friend posted about some great slice he had, that's relevant info and from a trusted source. By the way, it's Antico Pizza

So far, the loudest protest against all of this has come from the folks at Twitter. They fear this sudden Google+ search love will bump relevant social returns from Twitter way down the list.

In a statement, they write "news breaks first on Twitter; as a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant results. We're concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone."

Social media site Mashable says they reached out to Facebook for their take, but Facebook refused to comment.

Have you tried out Google's new social search feature? Like it? Loathe it? Fear it? Are your returns more useful as a result? Let us know in the comments section below.

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