TECH
08/13/2011 06:05 pm ET | Updated Oct 13, 2011

Google+ Public Posts Appear In Google Social Search Results (PICTURES)

Google announced on Friday that Google+ users will soon begin to see Google+ posts in their Google Search results.

This feature is activated only when you're signed in to your Google Account, according Product Manager Sagar Kamdar, who posted the announcement on the Google Search Blog.

When you're searching Google for, say, a restaurant, you might see that some results include content shared publicly by members of your Google+ Circles.

Kamdar detailed the new tool thus:

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 [...] 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.

Check out an example of what Google+ content looks like when attached to a Google Search result:

This new feature will roll out to Google+ users "over the coming days," wrote Kamdar, noting also that private Google+ posts will not appear in Google Search.

Google plans to further integrate its social network into search results by reintroducing Realtime Search, a recently axed feature that drew heavily from posts on Twitter. "Our vision is to have google.com/realtime include Google+ information along with other realtime data from a variety of sources," a Google rep said in July, shortly after the search tool disappeared.

Back in February, Google updated its Social Search feature to enrich Search results with content from Google Account users' friends on Blogger, YouTube, Quora, Flickr, Google Reader, Twitter and others social sites. This was prior to the launch of Google+, and some wondered at the time about the usefulness of placing content from social networks into search results.

The recent addition of Google+ content won't fundamentally change Social Search. As explained by Search Engine Land:

Google Social Search continues to operate as before. Things shared socially at places like Twitter and Facebook by those you’re connected with may appear with annotations and rank better in results. [...] The main difference is, as Google’s post says, is that things you share on Google+ itself are now part of the mix.

Google+ has grown at an astonishing rate since its launch in late June. An August study released by comScore found Google+ to be the fastest-growing social network ever. Indeed, at the time of the study, Google+ had amassed 25 million members.

And Google isn't resting on its laurels when it comes to growing the site. Thursday saw the launch of Google+ Games, a social gaming network that includes titles like 'Angry Birds' and 'Bejeweled.' Among the list of developers jumping on board with Google+Games was Zynga, Facebook's gaming cash cow.