On 10 January, Google announced a few tweaks to its search engine that will give users more personalized results. These tweaks mean that you will be seeing more personalised content – whether it’s comments from people you follow on the web or information right from your social media accounts, instead of thousands of search results that may (or may not) be applicable to what you were looking for.

This is all part of Google’s ultimate goal: knowing enough about each search engine user to tailor its results to fit your unique interests. So basically – different people will be seeing different search results, even if they’re searching for exactly the same thing. This is huge (almost as huge as the Universal Search feature that Google announced in 2007 which brought video thumbnails, news and blog posts and images into our search results).

Does Google Plus get preference in personalised search?

Google’s 6-month-old social network, which offers features similar to those offered by Facebook and Twitter, is being cautiously eyed with some people wondering whether Google is now favouring their own content. For some people, it will make life easier – you search for something and then get asked to “Search Plus Your World” (where you can find privately shared content from friends, colleagues and so forth). One worrisome feature is that this privately shared content can be mistaken for public content in search results (it’s not public for everyone to see, but we’re not used to seeing personal information at the top of our Google pages).

Personal and social content are now “one” with public content

While you’re going to be able to see search results based on your online behavior and from your social connections, you’re still going to see the normal public content (it’s just going to be presented as “Other results”).

Amit Singhal, who oversees Google’s ranking algorithms, told Search Engine Land “The social search algorithm, and the personal search algorithm, and the personalized search algorithm are actually one algorithm now, and we are merging it in a way that is very pleasant and useful,” said Singhal.

We’re looking forward to the changes this will bring to the world of Digital Marketing. Interacting with your target audience online means being connected, and ultimately that’s what we’re trying to achieve at WSI – building new avenues and platforms to connect with audiences on a more personal level. Keep an eye out for more updates about this new feature coming soon!