In a short time, Google+ will roll out its revamp of Google+ Search to everyone. If you already have it, congratulations! If not, hang tight. You’ll be getting it soon.
One the biggest complaints of Google+ was that there was no ability to search…from the search engine giant. Finding posts was near impossible and finding people was a little iffy. Well fear not! With Google+ going public (two days before Facebook’s overhaul…heh) brings revamped Hangouts and a new search bar called Search Google+. It should revolutionize the way you use Plus if you use it right and brings with changes to Sparks as well. Let me show you how it all works:
Your old “Find People” bar will now display the following:
The best way to think of this is just like Google.com. It shouldn’t scare you! In fact, it’s way more intuitive to use a search bar to search everything instead of just people (are you listening Facebook?). The bar will, however, still show you people and give you the option to search the rest of Google+:
Press Enter or click “Search Google+” and you’ll be taken to the new search page. The first result you’ll get is “Everything” with my name that’s searchable:
Here you’ll notice that you see a “People” result before any posts that include my name. There I am! Along with other people named Carter. Below that you’ll see my posts. This is the Everything page. Note the toolbar at the top:
Scrolling down through Everything will display my posts with some interesting feature we’ll explore later. Let’s take a look at People first. (we’ll come back to that “Save this search” box towards the end)
This is probably a view you’re very familiar with if you’ve ever used the old search bar. When you click People in the toolbar or “View all” in Everything you’ll get this result:
Ta-da! There you go! The Find People functionality has not been lost. If you search interests instead of a name, you’ll still find people that have, say, “music” on their profile. Take note of the ease to Circle these people on the right-hand side.
Rejoice! You can now find any post on public streams or in your Circles! There are two ways to sort these posts – Best Of and Most Recent. Let’s explore both.
Best Of – This is the default display for your search. It will display posts within your circles and ones that have received the most attention. Since I searched my name, I see things I posted:
And things other people posted mentioning me:
Most Recent: This is a functionality I’m very excited about. Let’s say I’m very interested in roller coasters (and I am) but can’t find other people who are. I can now use the “Most Recent” filter to see posts shared publicly, to extended circles I’m in, or even to my circles. The following people aren’t in my circles but I was able to find their posts on roller coasters through search:
This is a great, great, GREAT way to find people to add to your circles if you’re having trouble finding people who share your interests or just want to find more people who do. Remember though, posting publicly has more implications now as they’re very easy to find.
Sparks has disappeared from the left hand column. Didn’t notice? It’s probably because no one used it. See, it’s gone! (and a little insight into some of my circles)
The Sparks I’ve previously saved are still there, but the title “Sparks” is noticeably absent. Never to fear! It lives in Search Google+ now.
The default view is still “Best Of” as with other tabs, and you have the option to search “Most Recent” as well. Now, you may be wondering how you’ll add sparks since that button is now gone. Sparks has been better integrated into Search Google+.
Save this post: When you click that “Save this search” button it will add the search to your Sparks on the left-hand column.
After clicking it, take note of your Sparks so that you can easily come back to the search when you please:
Clicking on one of your Sparks will bring you to the “Everything” search page where you can then navigate to “Sparks” on the toolbar to see news. This will prove very helpful for finding new and interesting people who post on topics you care about.
And that’s about it! Google has brought search functionality to Plus in a simple, elegant way that doesn’t demand you to rethink how you use search capabilities. There are so many implications that I can’t wait to blog about in the near future, but hopefully your initial questions are answered for now!
Did I miss anything? What do you think is super cool about Search Google+? Let us know in the comments below!