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You’ll notice a new simpler, cleaner design on the search results page — we’ve been working on ways to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today. We started with tablets last year, got it to mobile phones a few weeks ago, and are now rolling out to the desktop.

With the new design, there’s a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph:



The same advanced tools you’re used to are still there when you need them. Just click on “Search tools” to filter or drill down on your results:



It’s going out to Google.com users in the U.S. to start, and we want to get it to users in other languages and regions as soon as we can. We hope you enjoy this design refresh — let us know what you think on our Google+ page.

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(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you. Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience. 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.

Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of webpages, images, videos, news and much more. But clearly, that isn’t enough. You should also be able to find your own stuff on the web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to... all from one search box.

We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:
  1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page; 
  2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and, 
  3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community. 
Together, these features combine to create Search plus Your World. Search is simply better with your world in it, and we’re just getting started.


Personal Results

Say you’re looking for a vacation destination. You can of course search the web, but what if you want to learn from the experiences your friends have had on their vacations? Just as in real life, your friends’ experiences are often so much more meaningful to you than impersonal content on the web. With your world in search, you can find:
  • Google+ posts. You can find relevant Google+ posts from friends talking about an amazing trip they just took, whether they’ve shared privately with you or publicly. You’ll find links shared by your friends, such as activities, restaurants and other things they enjoyed on their trip. 
  • Photos. You can find beautiful vacation photos from your friends right in your search results page. You can also find your own private photos from Google+ and Picasa, based on captions, comments and album title. 
Personal Results: a family story 

As a child, my favorite fruit was Chikoo, which is exceptionally sweet and tasty. A few years back when getting a family dog, we decided to name our sweet little puppy after my favorite fruit. Over the years we have privately shared many pictures of Chikoo (our dog) with our family. To me, the query [chikoo] means two very sweet and different things, and today’s improvements give me the magical experience of finding both the Chikoos I love, right in the results page.


This is search that truly knows me, and gives me a result page that only I can see. And while I get a nice mix of personal results with results from the web, I can also click the link at the top of the results page (red arrow) for the option to search only within my world.

Profiles in Search 

Every day, there are hundreds of millions of searches for people. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the person you’re looking for. Once you do find him or her, there’s no quick way for you to actually interact. Starting today, you’ll have meaningful ways to connect with people instantly, right from the search results.

Now, typing just the first few letters of your friend’s name brings up a personalized profile prediction in autocomplete. Selecting a predicted profile takes you to a results page for your friend, which includes information from their Google+ profile and relevant web results that may be related to them. And you can have this personal experience instantaneously, thanks to Google Instant. So when I search for [ben smith], I now find my dear friend Ben every time, instead of the hundreds of other Ben Smiths out there (no offense to all of them!).


In addition, you’ll find profile autocomplete predictions for various prominent people from Google+, such as high-quality authors from our authorship pilot program.


Once you select that profile, if you’re a signed-in Google+ user, you’ll also see a button to add them to your circles right on your search results page.


People and Pages 

As I mentioned earlier, behind most queries are communities. Starting today, if you search for a topic like [music] or [baseball], you might see prominent people who frequently discuss this topic on Google+ appearing on the right-hand side of the results page. You can connect with them on Google+, strike up meaningful conversations and discover entire communities in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.


Unprecedented security, transparency and control 

When it comes to security and privacy, we set a high bar for Search plus Your World. Since some of the information you’ll now find in search results, including Google+ posts and private photos, is already secured by SSL encryption on Google+, we have decided that the results page should also have the same level of security and privacy protection. That's part of why we were the first major search engine to turn on search via SSL by default for signed-in users last year. This means when you’re signed in to Google, your search results—including your private content—are protected by the same high standards of encryption as your messages in Gmail.

We also want to be transparent about how our features work and give you control over how to use them. With today’s changes, we provide interface elements and control settings like those you’ll find in Google+. For example, personal results are clearly marked as Public, Limited or Only you. Additionally, people in your results are clearly marked with the Google+ circle they are in, or as suggested connections.

We’re also introducing a prominent new toggle on the upper right of the results page where you can see what your search results look like without personal content. With a single click, you can see an unpersonalized view of search results.


That means no results from your friends, no private information and no personalization of results based on your Web History. This toggle button works for an individual search session, but you can also make this the default in your Search Settings. We provide separate control in Search Settings over other contextual signals we use, including location and language.

That's unprecedented transparency and control over personal search results.

A beautiful journey begins 

Search plus Your World will become available over the next few days to people who are signed in and searching on https://www.google.com in English.

While there may be 7 billion people and 197 million square miles on Earth, a septillion stars and a trillion webpages, we spend our short, precious lives living in a particular town, with particular friends and family, orbiting a single star and relying on a tiny slice of the world’s information. Our dream is to have technology enable everyone to experience the richness of all their information and people around them.

We named our company after the mathematical number googol as an aspiration toward indexing the countless answers on webpages, but that’s only part of the picture. The other part is people, and that’s what Search plus Your World is all about.

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This summer we posted a video that takes a peek under the hood of search, sharing the methodology behind search ranking and evaluation. Through this methodology, we make roughly 500 improvements to search in a typical year. As we often discuss, that’s a lot of change, and it can be hard to make sense of it all.

Following up on our last video, we wanted to share with you a short history of the evolution of search, highlighting some of the most important milestones from the past decade—and a taste of what’s coming next.

Our goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. That means you don’t generally need to know about the latest search feature in order to take advantage of it— simply type into the box as usual and find the answers you’re looking for.

However, for those of you looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved, the video highlights some important trends:

  • Universal Results: With Universal Search—which returns results like images, videos, and news, in addition to webpages—we’re helping you find all different kinds of information in the same place. We’ve continued to make search more comprehensive, enabling you to find products, places, patents, books, maps and more.
  • Quick Answers: Today on Google you’ll find more than just a list of links to websites. You’ll find Quick Answers at the top of the page for a wide variety of topics, including flight times, sports scores, weather and dozens more. As our technology gets better, we’re beginning to answer harder questions for you, right on the search results page.
  • The Future of Search: We’ve also been focused on developing faster ways to search and save time, whether we’re shaving seconds off searches with Google Instant or helping you search from your phone with Voice Search. Searching should be as easy as thinking, and the future looks bright!

As part of making the video we also created a timeline of search features. It’s not the first timeline we’ve done, but I think this one does a nice job of categorizing the different kinds of Universal Results and Quick Answers we’ve added over the years:
The timeline depicts the approximate dates when we launched particular search feature enhancements. You can also download a larger image by following this link.
It’s been exciting to be part of the evolution of search over the past decade, and we’re thrilled about what’s in store next. If the past is any indication, we don’t know what search will look like in 2020, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it looks nothing like it does today.

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I love eating out with my friends and trying new places, but one of the most difficult questions you can ask me is "Where do you want to eat?" Today, we’re making a few improvements to Google search that will make it a lot easier and faster to answer this question. For example, I mentioned to a friend that I’ll be visiting Boston, and he suggested that I check out a barbecue place called Redbones BBQ in Davis Square. Since I don't know that restaurant, I do a quick search for [redbones bbq] to see if it’s a place I’d like.


When I do, I see the same familiar search results page but I notice that there's now a new panel to the right of the results -- where previously only a map appeared -- with much more information than before. I see two images with pegman, the Street View mascot, below the map so I click on the first one. This instantly takes me to an immersive 360-degree interior view of the restaurant, as if I were virtually teleported to Redbones.


I pan around and see that it's a cool colorful restaurant with a nice, comfy feel. What's more, when I go back to the search results panel and click on the second image, I’m able to look around the outside of the restaurant and get a sense for the neighborhood via the familiar Street View experience. I’m beginning to really like this place! Further down the panel, I see the price range indicating it won’t be too expensive and an “at a glance” summary that tells me Redbones has great beer and pulled pork sandwiches -- and menu links if I want to see more. Thanks to this helpful information right on the search results page, I’ve quickly been able to make my decision: I’m going to Redbones for a pulled pork sandwich.

Even if I’m not looking for a particular place by name, I can learn about places and quickly decide which ones are right for me. If I want to find a bar near Redbones for a few drinks after dinner, I can just search for [bars davis square] and get a familiar list of results. Only now, scanning the list and comparing places is easier than ever, since the instant preview feature will show the same detailed information about the various bars when I hover over the “>>” symbol to the right of each result. After just a few seconds perusing the additional local information for different places, I know that Joshua Tree has a great beer selection and that the Orleans has live music but is a bit farther away.


This new type of layout may appear on the search results page for a range of real-world places -- restaurants, hotels, local businesses, landmarks, museums and more. Of course, the local information that appears will vary depending on what’s available online. So the next time you plan your visit to the New England Aquarium or Fenway Park, you might be able to check out their opening hours, get directions, and find the nearest transit stops, all from a simple Google search.

In the coming weeks, you’ll start seeing the improved local search experience in more than 40 languages. Give it a try and start discovering new local favorites, near and far!

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Back in 2009, we launched Google Social Search, and we've made several improvements since then. And earlier this year we made an update which let you get more information from people you're connected to on other publicly available sites. Today, we're including public Google+ posts as well. So if you’re signed into your Google Account, your search results may start including posts shared publicly by people you’re connected to on Google+.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say I’m logged into my Google Account, and I search on Google for [uncle zhou queens]. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this restaurant, and we’re visiting NYC soon, so we want to figure out all the best eats in town. I also happen to have Andrew Hyatt in one of my Google+ circles. Oh, and it turns out he just made a public post on his Google+ account about Uncle Zhou in Queens:



So here’s how that will show up on my results page for the query [uncle zhou queens]:



Cool! Now not only do I get some great reviews on the web, I get a review from a friend about a restaurant with recommendations about what dishes to order. My mouth is already watering...

Remember, to experience this updated feature, you’ll need to be on Google+ and also make sure that you’re logged into your Google Account when you search. In addition, only public posts on Google+ are visible in search results. Private posts on Google+ aren’t.

We’re rolling out this update over the coming days. This is just the latest step in helping you find the most relevant information possible, personalized to your interests and the people you care about. To learn more, check out our help center. May your searching be tasty!

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(Cross-posted from the Social Web Blog)

In 2009 we first introduced Social Search on google.com as an experimental feature designed to help you find more relevant information from your friends and the people you care about. Since then we’ve been making steady improvements to connect you with more people and more relevant web results. Today, we’re bringing Social Search to more users around the globe.

Just like on google.com, social search results in other languages and on other domains are mixed throughout the Google results page based on their relevance. For example, if you’re looking for information about low-light photography and your friend Marcin has written a blog post about it, that post may show up higher in your results with a clear annotation and picture of Marcin:

Social search results can rank anywhere on the page, and you’ll see who shared the result in the annotation underneath.

Social Search can help you find pages your friends have created, and it can also help you find links your contacts have shared on Twitter and other sites. If someone you’re connected to has publicly shared a link, we may show that link in your results with a clear annotation. So, if you’re looking for information about modern cooking and your colleague Adam shared a link about Modernist Cuisine, you’ll see an annotation and picture of Adam under the result. That way when you see Adam in the office, you’ll know he might be a good person to ask about his favorite modern cooking techniques.

Social Search includes links people share on Twitter and other services.

So how does this all work? Social search results are only visible to you and only appear when you choose to log in to your Google Account. If you’re signed in, Google makes a best guess about whose public content you may want to see in your results, including people from your Google Chat buddy list, your Google Contacts, the people you're following in Google Reader and Buzz, and the networks you’ve linked from your Google profile or Google Account. For public networks like Twitter, Google finds your friends and sees who they’re publicly connected to as well. You can see a complete list of the people included in your social search results in your personal Google Dashboard (this display is private). For an overview of Google Social Search, check out the explanatory video:

Click “cc” to see captions in your language.

Social Search is rolling out globally in 19 languages and should be available in the coming week, with more languages on the way. People around the world will find similar types of social results as people in the US, and we plan to introduce the +1 feature as soon as we can. With these changes, we want to help you find the most relevant information from the people who matter to you. To learn more about Social Search, check out our help center.