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Your World or Google’s world, it’s all the same

Google announced a change in its search functionality yesterday and will now integrate Google+ into your queries. It’s calling the service Your World. Now when you search for something like “cupcakes,” you not only get the names of bakeries and flavors, but your cousin’s red velvet recipe is also going to show near the top of the list. Great, if you were trying to remember how many cups of sugar to add to the family recipe, not so great for just about anything else.
There’s a little bird that is definitely not happy about the changes. Twitter, as Reuters reports, “said Google's changes would make it tougher for people to find the breaking news often shared by users of its service. ‘As we've seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter. As a result, Twitter accounts and Tweets are often the most relevant (search) results,’ the company said in a statement.” Essentially, Twitter thinks it’s getting short-shrifted and will have its content less-prominently featured.
One interesting visual feature to the update is that users will see buttons, labeled “show personal results” and “hide personal results,” at the top of the search window. The default is set to “show,” but if you’re not looking for your cousin’s recipe, it’s pretty easy to turn off.
From Google’s press release:
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.
I suspect, however, that people will glance right past the buttons when doing a quick search.

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.

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