Public posts on Google+ from people in your circles will now be highlighted on your Google search results page when appropriate.
This was pretty much inevitable, but happened a bit faster than most expected: Google now highlights public Google+ posts in its Social Search results. Until now, Google didn’t include data from its own social network in Social Search, but focused only on Twitter (until its deal with the company ended earlier this year), Google Reader, Flickr and a few other third-party services. It was only a matter of time, though, before Google would add Google+ posts. After all, clicks on +1 buttons were already included in Social Search for a while now.
Now, when you search for a restaurant in Google and one of your friends shared a link to its site on Google+, Google will let you know about this on the search results page when appropriate.
To use this feature, Google product manager Sagar Kamdar notes, you have to make sure you are a Google+ user and that you are signed in with your Google Account. Obviously, only public posts are included here. Private posts – even those directed at you – are not.
It’s not clear how these social signals from Google+ influence search rankings, but in the past, Google has often mentioned that they do play some role in which results you see and where on the page these appear.
What About Real-Time Search?
Since Google let its original deal with Twitter expire, it also shut down its real-time search engine. Now that the company is starting to integrate more of Google+’s data into its search results, I gather it is only a matter of time before we will see a +-based real-time search engine. Why Google+ didn’t launch with at least a built-in search engine, after all, is still a question most users wonder about.